Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) announced the outbreak of polio in Syria as it appealed to the United Nations and the Turkish authorities to provide assistance to eradicate the infectious disease which threatens children in Syria.
“It is sad to know today that polio re-emerged to paralyze our children living under siege after we thought we had eradicated this epidemic once and for all,” ACU said in a statement.
The Unit added that samples sent to the laboratories of the Turkish Ministry of Health in Ankara tested positive for poliovirus type 2, also known as “wild” polioviruses, a finding that was also confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The first case of polio was recorded in the town of Mayadin in Deir Ezzor province. Another case also emerged in the town of Tal Abyad in Raqqa province, ACU said. ACU signaled alarm bells warning that the disease “will not wait at the border gates to spill over to neighboring countries.”
ACU appealed to the United Nations and its agencies, in particular WHO and relevant international organizations to take action to contain the disease. It also called on the Turkish authorities to continue its regular assistance in this regard.
WHO on May 29 said that 50 cases of acute laryngeal paralysis have been recorded in the province in Deir Ezzor since the beginning of 2017, but added that samples did not test positive for poliovirus. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)