Turkey launches polio vaccination at Syria border

November 18, 2013

Turkey on Monday announced a mass vaccination campaign against an outbreak of polio in areas near neighbouring Syria.

"We are planning to vaccinate about one million children under five years old," public health agency vice president Mehmet Ali Torunoglu told private NTV television.

The United Nations said this month that emergency plans were under way to vaccinate more than 20 million children in the Middle East including Turkey, in the region's largest-ever polio campaign.

Its initiative was announced after the World Health Organisation reported that had reemerged in war-torn Syria for the first time in 14 years, leaving 10 children paralysed.

Polio was eradicated in Turkey 15 years ago but the country, which is home to more than 600,000 Syrian refugees, could be at risk from the outbreak of the disease in its neighbour.

Vaccinations began on Monday in Gaziantep province and will also be carried out in six other provinces on or near the border that shelter Syrian refugees.

Polio is caused by a highly infectious virus that invades the nervous system through the mouth and can cause irreversible paralysis within a matter of hours.

Children under the age of five are those most at risk.

There is no cure, but there are highly effective vaccines to prevent the disease.

Explore further: Syria polio: 20mln Mideast children to get vaccine

Related Stories

Syria polio: 20mln Mideast children to get vaccine

November 8, 2013
Emergency plans are under way to vaccinate more than 20 million children in the Middle East after polio resurfaced in war-torn Syria, the United Nations said on Friday.

Polio outbreak in Syria linked to Pakistan, WHO says

November 11, 2013
An outbreak of polio that has paralysed 13 children in war-torn Syria is linked to a strain of the virus from Pakistan, the World Health Organisation said Monday.

UN launches polio vaccination campaign in Mideast

November 9, 2013
The United Nations says a massive campaign to vaccinate children in the Middle East against polio has begun after the first cases in 14 years were confirmed in northeastern Syria last week.

UN confirms 10 polio cases in northeast Syria

October 29, 2013
The U.N.'s health agency said Tuesday it has confirmed 10 polio cases in northeast Syria, the first confirmed outbreak of the diseases in the country in 14 years, with a risk of spreading across the region.

Polio cases in Pakistan pass 2012 total

November 13, 2013
Polio is on the rise in Pakistan, health officials said Wednesday, as the number of infections in 2013 passed the total for the whole of 2012.

Experts warn that Syria polio outbreak may threaten Europe

November 7, 2013
Two infectious disease experts have written to The Lancet warning that a new outbreak of polio (due to infection with wild-type polio virus 1, WPV1) in Syria, recently confirmed by WHO, might endanger neighbouring regions, ...

Recommended for you

Novel approach to track HIV infection

August 18, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

Addressing superbug resistance with phage therapy

August 16, 2017
International research involving a Monash biologist shows that bacteriophage therapy – a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria - can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug ...

Can previous exposure to west Nile alter the course of Zika?

August 15, 2017
West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.