Paralyzing disease hunts Syrian children, outbreak confirmed

Paralyzing disease hunts Syrian children, outbreak confirmed
Tue Oct 29, 2013 17:00:16

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed outbreak of polio among Syrian children.

"Out of those 22 being investigated, 10 are now confirmed to be polio type one," the WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer told a news briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

They are still awaiting results on the remaining 12 suspected cases in Deir al-Zor.

"Of course this is a communicable disease, with population movements it can travel to other areas. So the risk is high for [its] spread across the region," Rosenbauer said.

Meanwhile, Lebanon – which hosts more than 700 000 Syrian refugees – said it would vaccinate all children under five against polio.

Around 4,000 Syrians fleeing the foreign-backed war cross into neighboring countries each day, hundreds of them into Lebanon.

People suffer poor sanitation in the refugee camps.

There is no cure for polio, a highly infectious disease that invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours.

It can only be prevented through immunization.

SHI/SHI

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