This BBC piece doesn’t say why polio is breaking out in Syria, because to note that would be “Islamophobic.” There is a polio outbreak in Syria because Pakistani jihadis are bringing the virus from home. A Pakistani Muslim cleric has said that polio vaccinations are un-Islamic. And the Taliban has for some time been murdering people who were administering the polio vaccine in Pakistan.
And so now it is going to come back to Europe — thanks to jihad.
“Europe at ‘polio risk’ from Syria,” from the BBC, November 7 (thanks to Lookmann):
Europe could be at risk from polio following a recent outbreak in Syria, infectious disease experts say.
In the Lancet journal, two doctors in Germany say the cases in Syria – which had been free of wild poliovirus since 1999 – could endanger nearby regions.
They say because only one in 200 people infected develops paralysis it could take a year of “silent transmission” before an outbreak is detected.
In that time hundreds of individuals could be carrying the infection.
Prof Martin Eichner, of the University of Tubingen and Stefan Brockmann, of Reutlingen Regional Public Health Office explain that most European countries use inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) rather than the live oral polio vaccine (OPV), because the latter can, in rare cases, lead to cases of acute flaccid paralysis, the main symptom of polio.
Whilst IPV is highly effective at preventing polio disease, it does not give the same level of protection against the virus as the oral drops, so vaccination coverage needs to be very high. The doctors say that countries with low coverage such as Austria (83%) and Ukraine (74%) risk a sustained outbreak should the virus be introduced via refugees fleeing Syria. Polio vaccine coverage in the UK is at 95%.
The doctors said Israel could also pose a potential polio threat.
Prof Eichner told me: “Wild poliovirus has also been found in sewage in Israel and from samples taken from some symptom-free individuals since February 2013. Although there have been no cases of polio in Israel, tourists could risk bringing the infection to other countries.”
Dr Benjamin Neuman, a virologist at the University of Reading, said: “The Syrian outbreak puts Europe at risk because of the way we give vaccines. In parts of the world where it is still possible to catch a wild strain of poliovirus, children are usually vaccinated with a live but genetically weakened poliovirus which gives excellent protection but has a tiny risk of changing back to the more dangerous form….
Most of the 22 cases of polio-like paralysis in Syria (10 of which have been confirmed as wild poliovirus type) are among children below the age of two who were unimmunised or who had not received all three doses of vaccine.
The World Health Organization warned last month there was a high risk of polio spreading internationally because of the movement of refugees across the region and low immunisation rates in Syria….
So far this year 322 cases of wild poliovirus have been confirmed, more than half of them in Somalia.