Syria Polio Outbreak Confirmed

Syria_Polio_OutbreakThe World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed 10 cases of polio in war-torn Syria – the first outbreak in the country in 14 years.

The UN body says a further 12 cases are still being investigated. Most of the 22 people who have been tested are babies and toddlers.

Before Syria’s civil war began in 2011, some 95% of children were vaccinated against the disease.

The UN now estimates 500,000 children have not been immunised.

Polio has been largely eradicated in developed countries but remains endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in the Swiss city of Geneva says there has been speculation that foreign groups fighting in Syria may have imported it.

Source: BBC News