Number of Cholera Cases in Israel Jumps; Advice Sought from Foreign Experts

Israel’s cholera outbreak has reached alarming proportions and the government is seeking advice from international health experts, it was disclosed today. Seventeen new cases were reported in the Jerusalem area raising the total to 120 cholera cases diagnosed since the disease was first detected here last month. So far only two fatalities have been reported. Public anxiety is growing. Nevertheless, Health Minister Victor Shemtov said today that the Government was standing by its policy of abstaining from mass inoculations on grounds that they were unjustified medically and psychologically. He said that view was supported by the university medical schools in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. According to Mr. Shemtov, intestinal diseases including cholera cannot be rooted out of the Jerusalem area as long as there is no sewage treatment plant. He said three such plants are needed and their cost is estimated between 21-43 million Israel pounds. Three foreign health experts invited for a week of consultations on the cholera outbreak arrived here yesterday. They are Dr. Alexander Longmore, head of the epidemiological services of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; A. Rodan, head of the epidemiology department of the British Ministry of Health and B. Svetanovic. representing the World Health Organization in Geneva.

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