Polio outbreak in Syria: Virus is of Pakistani origin, says UNICEF

The Express Tribune —

Preliminary evidence indicates that the poliovirus that has reportedly affected ten children in Syria is of Pakistani origin, a joint press statement issued by Unicef and World Health Organisation (WHO) claims.

The statement says this is the first polio outbreak in the restive country since 1999, and it poses a risk of paralysis to hundreds of thousands of children across the region.

According to BBC Urdu, the Syrian Minister for Social Affairs Kindah al Shammat has alleged that the militants, who have come from Pakistan to help Syrian rebels, ‘brought the virus’ with them. She offered no evidence and did not elaborate on the claim.

However, WHO representative Sona Bari said further test to find out the nature of the virus were under way. “It is only after these tests that we would be able to know how the virus reached Syria,” she is quoted by the BBC Urdu as saying.


Categories: Asia, Syria

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