Polio Spreads in Syria

The World Health Organization confirmed on Tuesday that polio has broken out among children in northeastern Syria, with most of the victims being babies or toddlers. Ten cases have been confirmed, and a WHO spokesman said there are another 12 being investigated. Before Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011, 95 percent of children were vaccinated against polio—but the difficult conditions have made it hard to vaccinate children, with only an estimated 500,000 vaccinated now. In the Deir al-Zour province alone, there are more than 100,000 children at risk, although immunizations are reportedly starting in the area.