A 19-month-old Syrian boy has been hospitalized in Lebanon, and health officials suspect he may have polio, according to a report by UPI.
The attending pediatrician reported from the refugee-filled Lebanese hospital that the boy had already tested negatively for meningitis, but according to NBC News, the World Health Organization sent in stool and throat samples to Cairo to determine if the boy has contracted polio. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, said that the boy, who is exhibiting polio-like symptoms, is being kept in isolation.
Should the tests prove to be positive, it will be the first documented case of polio amongst the Syrian refugees, and a cause of great concern as the disease is virulently contagious and could quickly spread amongst those who haven’t been vaccinated, which includes most of the children born during the civil conflict, now beginning its fourth year.
Last year the wild polio virus surfaced in Israel. However, due to the Ministry of Health's immediately launching of a very successful vaccination campaign right at the outset, the situation was kept under control. However, the virus has been noted to have reared its ugly head in several locations in the Middle East of late, and has been a cause for deep concern