WHO reported two additional laboratory-confirmed cases of wild poliovirus type 1 in Syria, according to a recent press release.
To date, there have been 17 cases of infection with wild poliovirus type 1 in the Deir el-Zour province. The two most recent cases have been reported in rural Damascus and Aleppo, establishing widespread circulation of the virus. The most recent patient developed paralysis on Oct. 8.
The WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region declared polio eradication to be an emergency. An extensive outbreak response will continue to be implemented across the region. Frequent population movement and immunity gaps in major areas increase the area’s susceptibility to infection. As a result, a surveillance alert has been issued for the region to actively look for potential cases, as well as administer oral polio vaccine and other recommended immunization tactics.