The World Health Organization said Saturday it is investigating a possible outbreak of polio in Syria, where an ongoing civil war has decimated the public health infrastructure.
The organization said it received reports Thursday of “a cluster of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases” in the country. The cluster was detected early in the month in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, it said.
"Initial results from the national polio laboratory in Damascus indicate that two of the cases could be positive for polio — final results are awaited from the regional reference laboratory of the Eastern Mediterranean Region of WHO," it said.
Wild poliovirus — which is highly infectious — was last reported in Syria in 1999.