Polio discovered in Syria for the first time in 14 years
Polio is an incurable disease that attacks the nervous system leaving its victims paralyzed for life (Courtesy of Rotary International-UK and Ireland)
Click here to add Deir al-Zor as an alert
Disable alert for Deir al-Zor,
Click here to add Geneva as an alert
Disable alert for Geneva,
Click here to add Reuters as an alert
Disable alert for Reuters,
Click here to add World Health Organization as an alert
Disable alert for World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that two suspected polio cases have been discovered in Syria that was previously thought to have been eradicated from the country, according to Reuters reports.
Results from WHO's initial tests from early October returned positive on Saturday, confirming the existense of the incurable viral disease in the country. However, WHO is still waiting for its final test results from its regional reference laboratory, but the initial feedback seems grim.
The two cases of the paralyzing sickness were discovered in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor. This is the first time that polio has been discovered in Syria in the past fourteen years.
WHO said Syria is at "high-risk for polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases due to the current situation.” According to the Geneva-based body, Syria's health ministry is currently planing an urgent response countrywide to ensure that the paralyzing disease does not spread further. WHO is planning further emergency immunization activities in neighboring countries and has issued a surveillance alert for the region to "actively search for additional potential cases."
Polio is a disease that attacks the nervous system and causes irreversible paralysis within a short period of time. It has largely been eradicated globally, but is still endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Though there is no cure for polio, the development of the polio vaccine in the mid-twentieth century has been used to prevent the spread of polio globally with many individuals vaccinated in their early years of life.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has reported 296 cases of the disease worldwide so far this year.