Polio outbreak in northern Syria threatens to spread throughout the region

Posted on October 30, 2013 • Filed under: Middle East, Travel Health

Reuters reports that polio has broken out among young children in northeast Syria after probably originating in Pakistan and poses a threat to millions of children across the Middle East, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. The crippling disease, which is caused by a virus transmitted via contaminated food and water, could spread especially fast in Syria, where civil war has led to falling vaccination rates. Twenty-two children in Deir al-Zor province bordering Iraq became paralyzed on October 17 and the polio virus has been confirmed in samples taken from 10 victims. Results on the other 12 are expected within days. Read article

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