WHO: polio erupted in Syria

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Ten cases of polio have already been confirmed

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ten children under the age of two in northern Syria have been infected with the so-called "poliovirus", the cause of dangerous polio. According to the WHO, there is now a risk that the virus could spread quickly.

22 children under the age of two suspected of infection As reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), ten out of 22 children under the age of two suspected of being infected with polioviruses in the northeastern province of Deir al Sur in Syria have already confirmed the disease. However, the results for the other twelve children are still pending, said WHO spokesman for the polio department, Oliver Rosenbauer. According to Rosenbaum, all affected children would have acute paralysis, as is typically caused by "polio" (med. Poliomyelitis, or polio for short).

Infection takes place via smear infection. The affected children, like many others, had probably not received any vaccination against the infectious disease so far, but according to Rosenbaum no further cases are known so far. Nevertheless, the risk of spread is great, because polio is a highly contagious disease, the infection is usually caused by "smear infection" or feces-contaminated hands or objects and indirectly via the digestive tract pathogens (especially contaminated drinking water).

Not enough vaccinations since the beginning of the civil war
So far, the disease in Syria has actually been considered eradicated since 1999, according to the United Nations (UN), by the start of the civil war in 2011, 95 percent of children were vaccinated. But in the wake of the civil war, vaccinations - the only effective protection against polio - were not carried out anymore, which would affect half a million children, according to the UN.

Population movements due to flight as a further risk factor The connection between the known cases and the civil war in Syria is also obvious to health experts: since all affected children are under two years old, this would correspond to the period in which children no longer " have not been adequately vaccinated ". The massive escape from the war was also an additional risk factor: “Of course, this is a communicable disease. It can reach other areas through population movements. Therefore, the risk of spreading across the region is high, "WHO spokesman Rosenbauer told Reuters." The next step will be to look closely at the genetically isolated viruses and see where they came from. That should be clear about the Give origin, "continued Rosenbauer. (No)

Image: Paul Sippel / pixelio.de

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