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Efforts To Eradicate Polio Continue In Israel, Pakistan

NPR’s “Shots” blog and “Morning Edition” program report on nationwide efforts in Israel to vaccinate one million children against polio after researchers found the virus in 85 different sewage samples from across the country. “Getting rid of polio flare-ups, like the one in Israel right now, is a crucial part of eradicating polio globally, [Emory University's Walt Orenstein] says,” the blog writes. The “Morning Edition” segment discusses the country’s use of the oral polio vaccination in its current drive, as it is better at eliminating the disease on a community-level than the killed-virus vaccine (Beaubien, 9/2). The Associated Press/ABC News reports on polio outbreaks in Pakistan, where “militant threats and attacks on vaccination teams … could worsen [the outbreaks] and [cause them to] spread to other parts of Pakistan, especially since the country is entering the high season for virus transmission.” According to the AP, “There have been 27 confirmed polio cases in Pakistan so far this year — the third highest total in the world after Somalia and Nigeria.” “Threats by al-Qaida-linked militants also have hampered vaccination efforts this year in Somalia, which has suffered the worst polio outbreak in the world,” the news agency writes, noting there have been at least 192 confirmed polio cases worldwide so far in 2013 (Dawar/Abbot, 9/2).