Suspected Polio Outbreak in Syrian Province Spreads

Published on October 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Suspected Polio Outbreak in Syrian Province Spreads

Suspected Polio Outbreak in Syrian Province Spreads

Suspected Polio Outbreak in Syrian Province Spreads

GENEVA — At least 22 people are now suspected of having polio in Syria, where health officials are scrambling to respond to the first outbreak of the crippling viral disease in 14 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

Most of those stricken with acute flaccid paralysis – a symptom of diseases including polio – in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor are children under the age of two, WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer said.

“There is a cluster of 22 acute flaccid paralysis cases that is being investigated in that area,” Rosenbauer told Reuters. “Everybody is treating this as an outbreak [of polio] and is in outbreak response mode.”

The WHO, a U.N. agency, announced on Saturday that two suspected cases of polio had been detected, the first appearance of the disease in Syria since 1999.

Initial tests came back positive for polio in two of the 22 cases and final laboratory results due next week from a WHO reference laboratory in Tunis are “very, very likely” to confirm presence of the virus, Rosenbauer said.

There is no cure for the highly infectious disease, it can only be prevented through immunization, usually three doses.

More than 100,000 children under age five are deemed at risk of polio in Deir al-Zor province, he said. Most of the countryside is in opposition hands but the city of Deir al-Zor itself is still partially controlled by government forces.

“The main concern right now is to quickly launch an immunization response,” Rosenbauer said. Vaccination campaigns are being planned across Syria from November but logistics in a civil war are still being discussed.

With some 4,000 Syrian refugees leaving the country daily, immunization campaigns are also planned in neighboring countries, where there may be gaps in coverage, he said.

Most of the 22 victims are believed never to have been vaccinated or to have received only a single dose of the oral polio vaccine, Rosenbauer said.

Polio invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours. It is endemic in just three countries, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but sporadic cases also occur in other countries.

Rosenbauer, asked whether the virus may have been imported into Syria by a foreign combatant fighting in the civil war, replied: “The first step is virological verification that it is the polio virus.

”The next step is that every isolated virus gets looked at genetically to see where is the parent. Hopefully that will provide some clarity on where it would have come from,” he said.

The outbreak is the latest setback to international efforts to eradicate polio – as well adding another dimension to Syria’s worsening humanitarian crisis as the war forces people from their homes and destroys health systems.

Polio cases worldwide decreased from an estimated 350,000 cases when the campaign began in 1988 to 223 reported cases in 2012, according to the WHO.

So far this year – not including the 22 unconfirmed cases in Syria – there have been 296 cases of wild polio virus worldwide.

Comments are closed.

Recently Published Articles / News Items

PakMed InfoForum contains more than 50,000 educational & biomedical articles/news items added in the recent two years making it one of the largest educational & biomedical information websites. In the following you can find the links to about 100 recently added articles or news items.

  • WHO: New Multidrug Resistant TB Treatment Could Be Game Changer
  • WHO Urges Pregnant Women to Avoid Rio Olympics
  • WHO Guidelines Aim to Help Millions of Victims of Female Genital Mutilation
  • Patient Recovering from First US Penis Transplant
  • Third Decade of LUMS: The Celebration
  • Consultative meeting on art and culture at PU ISCS
  • Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali has assumed the charge of Vice Chancellor, Government College University Faisalabad
  • Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) public notice to de-notify seven universities
  • Postgradute Medical Students Alert: Pakistan Medical & Dental Council PMDC
  • Students Alert: Pakistan Medical & Dental Council PMDC
  • PMDC Approves Increased Admission Seats for Medical Colleges in Punjab
  • Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) for redefining HEC role
  • HIV positive women can have safe offspring after treatment!
  • Scam of bogus attendances of children in schools unearthed in Rawalpindi
  • Gearing up for AIDS-free generation – – AIDS Day celebrated in Lahore
  • Young Doctors Association YDA threatens to stage street show
  • Sisters on strike against Ganga Ram Hospital Lahore Medical Superintendent MS
  • KIPS students awarded at Alhamra Lahore
  • CM takes notice of admission policy of University of Karachi
  • Five new AIDS diagnostic centres in Sindh soon in Sindh
  • Aga Khan University Examination Board hosts annual high achievers awards ceremony
  • Water contamination causes 40% deaths in urban areas: moot told
  • Sindh Culture Day on 7th December 2014
  • Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah tells Education Department to prioritise development schemes
  • World AIDS Day today: Campaign ‘No syringe – need life’ launched
  • Forman Christian College Lahore turns 150 with varsity status
  • ‘System being improved for doctors’ rapid promotions’ in Punjab
  • Too much exercise can be a bad thing
  • Reforms in health sector top priority: Chief Secretary Punjab
  • Misbehaviour with polio workers not to be tolerated, saysPunjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif
  • Children’s Literature Festival Lahore concludes
  • The Environment Protection Foundation (TEPF) organises tree-plantation campaign: 450 students turn St Joseph School into a green campus
  • ‘Efforts being made to provide health facilities to masses’ in Punjab
  • Children’s Literature Festival Lahore: ‘Books and education can ease intolerance, extremism’
  • Three children die as school bus plunges into drain in Lahore
  • Three polio workers beaten up in Lahore
  • Children’s Literature Festival kicks off
  • Ivory Emporium to hold exhibition of vintage scarves next month
  • Work of Dr Aijaz Anwar, Anwar Ali showcased at the House of Nanna
  • 4,495 students given laptops in district Rawalpindi
  • Health department Punjab seeks 800 employees for polio campaign
  • Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) offers 16 new courses of 3 to 6 months duration
  • 5 dialysis machines donated to HFH – Rawalpindi: Organisation of Graduates of Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC)
  • Bio Sciences Dept hosts Alexander von Humboldt Alumni reunion – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore
  • Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran stresses to value oriental languages, literature
  • Geographical Information System (GIS) students’ protest baseless: PU spokesman
  • University of the Punjab Lahore 123rd Convocation on Dec 27, 2014
  • Need to pay attention to control traffic accidents: Zulfiqar Cheema – University of the Punjab Lahore
  • Another feather in the cap of University of the Punjab Lahore: “PAKISTAN’S FIRST INTERNATIONAL PATENT” (In the field of Industrial Enzymes) Discovery of a novel and extraordinary enzyme for food industry
  • 3rd Faculty Training Program at MMG in Collaboration with LID-HEC – University of the Punjab Lahore
  • National Outreach Program (NOP) organized a seminar in collaboration with IAS (Institute of Administrative sciences) P.U on Sat 22nd November, 2014 on “Breakthrough thinking -Market Driven opportunities”
  • Change in university culture not possible without training: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran
  • Punjab University PU to bear expenses of injured student
  • Punjab University College of Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES) organizes seminar
  • Punjab University Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS) PU CSAS organizes seminar
  • World Television Day 2014 mark at Punjab University Institute of Communication Studies PU ICS
  • Hungarian Ambassador calls on Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran
  • Punjab University Institute of Social and Cultural Studies PU ISCS organizes seminar
  • Visit of Punjab University Lahore delegation to Bielefeld University, Germany
  • Punjab University Institute of Social and Cultural Studies ISCS seminar on interview techniques
  • Punjab University Institute of Social and Cultural Studies PU ISCS organizes seminar on women harassment
  • Medical Entry Test (Entrance Test; MCAT) Answers Key for Admission to MBBS and BDS in Medical and Dental Colleges of Punjab Pakistan Administered by University of Health Sciences UHS Lahore Held on August 31, 2014
  • Result of Matric SSC-2 (Secondary School Certificate Part 2; Class 10th) Annual Examination 2014 of all Boards of Punjab Announced on July 25, 2014: Bahawalpur Board, D.G. Khan Board, Faisalabad Board, Gujranwala Board, Lahore Board, Multan Board, Rawalpindi Board, Sahiwal Board and Sargodha Board
  • Special summer classes in Rawalpindi colleges
  • Turkish contribution to education in Pakistan hailed
  • Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) providing free education to 1.5m needy students
  • AIOU to introduce PhD degree in mass communication
  • Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) organises seminar on safe blood transfusion
  • Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to hold int’l woman and child health conference
  • HEC bailout package- Immediate bailout package for HEC sought
  • Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) asked to stop registering colleges
  • Govt universities appointments – SHC stays key appointments in govt universities
  • Sindh University launches mini hospital
  • USAID awards scholarships to Sindh students
  • Over 850 schools in Thatta, Sujawal closed
  • NEB exam must for medical graduates from Cuba:Pakistan Medical & Dental Council PM&DC PMDC
  • Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) upgrades its website
  • Punjab University Lahore at 1,613 in world ranking, PA told
  • Groundbreaking Ceremony ofLahore University of Management Sciences LUMS Coca-Cola Aquatic Centre
  • Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS Alumni Reunion in Australia
  • Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS Receives Service Appreciation Award at ‘Service Punch – 2014’
  • Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS RWES Wins Dunya TV Shadow Budget Competition
  • EO Workshop on Personal Finance for Entrepreneurs at REDC LUMS
  • Punjab University organizes special lecture on Urdu
  • Youm-e-Takbeer a memorable day: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran
  • Punjab University Institute of Quality & Technology Management (IQTM) organizes National Symposium
  • Punjab University Urdu Department organizes Seminar
  • IJT doing negative politics: Punjab University spokesman
  • Dengue totally under control, says minister of Punjab
  • Govt to focus on promotion of quality education: governor
  • Dengue website of Punjab gets 67,800 hits
  • All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA) condemns stoning of pregnant woman
  • Saida Waheed College of Nursing (SWCON) of FMH observes Nurses Day
  • Medical graduates returning from Cuba land in miseries
  • ‘Favouritism’ hits Punjab University Geography Department recruitments
  • Govt of Punjab to increase education, health budgets in next fiscal
  • Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) to launch shariah PhD, MS programmes
  • Chinese language course concludes atConfucius Institute of National University of Modern Languages (NUML)
  • Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to start cessation clinic in first week of June
  • 76 young professionals ready to attend United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) scholarships
  • No Tobacco Day observed at Benazir Bhutto Hospital BBH Rawalpindi
  • Literary festival held to remember Parveen Shakir
  • Smoking kills 100,000 Pakistanis every year: Health experts for increased taxes on tobacco in budget 2014-15
  • Millions of Newborn Deaths Reported (Listen to audio report)
  • Melinda Gates Pushes to Curb Newborn Deaths
  • Melbourne Declaration Released (Listen to audio report)
  • CIA: Vaccination Programs Won’t be Used for Spying
  • WHO: Conflict, Inequality, and Economic Exclusion Threaten Health Gains
  • UN investigator: Unhealthy Food Taxes Vital to Fight Obesity
  • CSS screening test – CSS screening test ill-devised move? – Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC)
  • Summer vacation from June 1 in Punjab educational institutions
  • 500 private schools not teaching Sindhi to students: Khuhro
  • Higher Education Commission (HEC) asked to continue financial grants to universities in Sindh
  • Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) semester exams from May 26
  • Government College University’s Endowment Fund Trust (GCU-EFT) awards Rs 8 million scholarships to 235 students
  • Botanic Garden of Government College University GCU Lahore turns 102 years
  • REDC Holds Programme on Problem Solving and Decision Making Skills – Lahore University of Management Sciences LUMS
  • Punjab University Institute of Applied Psychology (IAP) organizes special lecture
  • Punjab University Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAGS) 3-day International Conference concludes – International Conference on “Stress Biology & Biotechnology: Challenges & Management
  • Punjab University Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics organizes exhibition on ecosystems
  • Punjab University Institute of Communication Studies – Book on Shorish Kashmiri a source of inspiration, Dr Noshina
  • Punjab University Institute of Social & Cultural Studies (ISCS) – No society can prosper without empowering women, Dr Zakria
  • Indian delegation visits Punjab University Lahore Department of Urdu
  • Punjab University Directorate of Students Affairs organizes Bilingual Declamation Contest
  • Research on agriculture a must to feed world’s population: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran
  • Punjab Univreity organizes Sufiana/Arifana kalam and national songs competitions
  • Punjab University Lahore students win Team Trophy in Zestival-2014
  • Education For All EFA meeting vows to continue struggle for promotion of education
  • Mentally challenged patients abandoned by heirs – PIMH DMS says relatives do not follow up after admitting patient
  • SMS service launched for dengue awareness