Report of polio cases in the Syrian Arab Republic


In mid-October 2013, WHO received reports of a cluster of 22 cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases in the Syrian Arab Republic. On the 29th of October WHO reported that wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been isolated from ten of the cases under investigation. The last time wild poliovirus was reported in Syria was in 1999. Most of the cases are very young (aged <2 years), and were un- or under-immunised. Estimated immunization rates in Syria declined from 91% in 2010 to 68% in 2012.

Polio immunisation campaigns have commenced in Syria and neighbouring countries to improve vaccination coverage among children.  WHO’s International Travel and Health recommends that all travelers to and from polio-infected areas be fully vaccinated against polio.

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