For this assignment I have chosen to summarize a news article “Polio Outbreak in Syria Sickens 10 Children, Babies” by Katie Moisse for ABC News website. The article is dated 29th of October 2013 and informs on the outbreak of a dangerous virus in war-torned Syria.
According to the article, the outbreak started in the beginning of October 2013 in Deir Al Zour province, with reports fixing occurrences of acute flaccid paralysis, sign of polio disease. According to World Health Organization, ten of twenty suspected children were infected in October with polio, babies younger than 2 years among them. Due to the situation, WHO stated they will start a six-month long emergency outbreak response immunization program on all the territory of Syria and neighboring countries (the virus is endemic in near-lying Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan) to protect under-immunized children. This measure is important, because Syria has seen such an outbreak in far 1999 and has not undergone a proper vaccination due to civil war since.
The article proceeds with providing info on the virus: polio is carried in intestinal tract and is easily imported. It can be passed person-to-person or through contaminated water systems. Polio can infect blood and damaged spinal cord, making one of two hundred people permanently paralyzed (usually, only one half of the body is stricken by paralysis). There is no antiviral treatment for polio, meaning the treatment is symptomatic. But the vaccine exists, and with its help polio rates dropped by 99% from 1988 to 2012 according to the article.
In the end, article emphasizes the importance of proper thorough vaccination in Syria. If not finished, the outbreaks will return over and over again, planting seeds for a dangerous epidemic and endangering children living in the region.
Overall, in my opinion, the article provides enough information. Potential victims and territory of outspread of epidemic are determined, frequency and reasons for it are clear, and measures to be taken are acknowledged. Moreover, the article provides substantial descriptive information on the diseases – how is transmitted, how it affects the organism, and how it can be cured.
Mossie, K. (2013). Polio Outbreak in Syria Sickens 10 Children, Babies. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/polio-outbreak-syria-sickens-10-children-babies/story?id=20713131