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Middle East Endangered by Polio Outbreak in Syria

Countries across the Middle East face a threat of polio, the World Health Organization said after confirming Syria’s first outbreak of the crippling infectious virus since 1999.

Twenty-two children in northeastern Deir Ezzour province, near Syria’s border with Iraq, were reported on Oct. 17 to have become paralyzed and traces of the wild polio virus were found in samples taken from 10 victims, WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer told reporters yesterday in Geneva.