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Polio in Syria a Threat to Bordering Countries and Europe — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
November 8, 2013

Polio in Syria a Threat to Bordering Countries and Europe

By Kelly Young

Polio's emergence in Syria is a threat to neighboring nations and to Europe as hundreds of thousands of people flee Syria during its civil conflict, experts write in the Lancet.

Roughly 0.5% of unvaccinated people who are infected with wild-type poliovirus 1 will develop acute flaccid paralysis, so the virus can spread easily without notice, they note.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommends vaccinating only Syrian refugees, but the authors say this is not sufficient. They recommend that countries with large Syrian refugee populations routinely screen the sewage for poliovirus.

No European nation currently has a stockpile of oral poliovirus vaccine.

Reader Comments (1)

md Physician, Pediatrics/Adolescent Medicine, ZMH UAE

polio is a real threat to our area

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