Vaccinations in Middle East to contain outbreak

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November 8th, 2013

Health officials announced  a campaign to vaccinate more than 20 million children against polio and other diseases across seven Middle Eastern nations and territories. The announcement, by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, comes a week after an outbreak of polio was confirmed in Syria for the first time since 1999. Ten children have been left paralyzed, and hundreds of thousands are at risk.

“We will expect to see more cases, certainly in Syria if not in surrounding countries,” Sonia Bari, a spokeswoman for polio eradication for WHO, said in a telephone interview. She noted that 200 children are estimated to be infected for every case of polio-caused paralysis.

If the outbreak is not quickly treated, it may extend to Europe (for more info read and it may spread out widely, as the Lancet Journal of France says “because only one in 200 people infected develops paralysis it could take a year of “silent transmission” before an outbreak is detected”, in that time hundreds of individuals could be carrying the infection.


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