About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Polio Outbreak in Syria Could Threaten Europe

by Kathy Jones on November 9, 2013 at 12:10 AM
Font : A-A+

 Polio Outbreak in Syria Could Threaten Europe

Health experts have warned that the recent outbreak of polio in Syria poses a serious threat to Europe, where the disease was eradicated in 2002.

Europe is exposed because some countries have low rates of innoculation, which lowers "herd immunity", or protection through community-wide vaccination, a pair of German epidemiologists warned in The Lancet.

Advertisement

In addition, most countries use a type called inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which is less effective against the virus than an oral vaccine which is now largely discontinued because it causes rare cases of paralysis, they warned.

At least 10 cases of polio have been confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Syria, where vaccination has been disrupted by the war.
Advertisement

The polio virus has also been found in Israel in routine tests in sewage, from people who had the virus but did not develop the disease, prompting the country to launch an emergency innoculation campaign.

In their letter to The Lancet, Martin Eichner of the University of Tuebingen and Stefan Brockmann, a regional health officer in Reutlingen, said the risk of polio spreading to Europe was invisible but real.

Out of every 200 people infected with the polio virus, only one will develop the disease's classic symptoms, called acute flaccid paralysis, they said.

"In regions with low vaccination coverage (e.g. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 87 percent or Ukraine, 74 percent), particularly those with low coverage of inactivated polio vaccine (e.g. Austria, 83 percent), herd immunity might be insufficient to prevent sustained transmission," said the letter.

In addition to vaccinating Syrian refugees, "more comprehensive measures" should be considered, it said.

"Routine screening of sewage for poliovirus has not been done in most European countries, but this intensified surveillance measure should be considered for settlements with large numbers of Syrian refugees."

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Poliomyelitis Hypermobility Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
Poliomyelitis
Polio is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. It results in paralysis and generally ......
Hypermobility Syndrome
Hypermobility Syndrome is a condition in which a person can move his joints far beyond the normal .....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use