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Published On: Sat, Mar 22nd, 2014

Syria polio outbreak spread: Iraq reports first case since 2000

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported Friday, that as of 20 March 2014, in the Syrian Arab Republic, a total of 37 wild polio virus type 1 (WPV1) cases have been reported:  25 cases by the Syrian Arab Republic Ministry of Health, and 12 cases from contested areas (Aleppo, Edleb and Deir Al Zour) not yet reflected in official figures.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

In addition, evidence of regional spread of the virus has been confirmed in a wild poliovirus-1 (WPV-1) case in a  six-month old boy from Baghdad who had not been immunized, developed paralysis on 10 February 2014.

This is the first case of polio reported in Iraq in 14 years.

Genetic sequencing indicates the virus is most closely related to virus detected in Syria.  WPV1 was also isolated from the child’s three-year old sister, who did not develop symptoms.

Massive immunization campaigns have been and continue to be part of the coordinated response in this region.

Since the first cases were reported from Syria, all countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, in a joint resolution, declared polio eradication to be an emergency, calling for support in negotiating and establishing access to those children who are currently unreached with polio vaccination.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.
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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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