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WHO official says "risk is high" of polio spread in Syria

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 01:13

Oct. 29 - A polio outbreak now hits Syria, where the World Health Organization says the ''risk is high of spread across the region.'' Gavino Garay reports.

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A country at war now has a new foe.... The World Health Organization has detected at least 22 cases of polio -a disease that causes paralysis- in Syria. Now it warns of the risk of spreading... WHO Spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer: (SOUNDBITE) (English) WHO SPOKESMAN, OLIVER ROSENBAUER, SAYING "In terms of the danger of course this is a communicable disease and with population movements it can travel, it can travel to other areas, and so the risk is high of spread across the region of course." The Geneva-based organization has made calls for the vaccination of around 500,000 Syrian children. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WHO SPOKESMAN, OLIVER ROSENBAUER, SAYING "They all appear to be very young so less than aged 2 and they all appear to be under or unimmunized." All this as the fighting continues... Amateur video that Reuters cannot independently verify purports to show government forces shelling a Damascus neighborhood. With 4,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the violence daily, immunizations for polio are planned in neighboring countries, to help prevent the spread of the disease.

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WHO official says "risk is high" of polio spread in Syria

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 01:13