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Polio In Syria Presents Global Risk

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The polio outbreak in Syria is getting worse.

The World Health Organization has reported 10 cases and, as hundreds of thousands of refugees from the civil war in Syria are fleeing to Europe, the concern is they could bring polio with them.

If that isn’t bad enough, polio can easily go undetected and 1 in 200 unvaccinated people develop paralysis.

Here in the United States, the inactivated polio vaccine, reduces transmission of the virus and reduces the incidence of paralysis.

According to a report in The Lancet the countries where risk is especially high are in regions where vaccination rates are lower, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, and Austria.

The tracking of any outbreaks is crucial and will be monitored.

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