Europe Now Looking Over Its Shoulder at Syrian Polio Outbreak
Pacific Standard speaks with Dr. Peter Hotez about the possibility of neglected tropical disease outbreaks spreading from Syria to other European countries.
“If you look at what’s happening now in Syria, it’s not just polio. With the whole breakdown in infrastructure you’re seeing a rise in measles, because kids aren’t getting their vaccinations. You’re seeing a lot of problems with dengue fever, which is a mosquito-transmitted infection.” And, he continued, you’re seeing problems with “Aleppo evil,” AKA leishmaniasias, which causes terrible ulcers to appear on the skin and face. “Now there’s an estimated more than 100,000 cases of it in Syria,” Hotez recounted, “but it’s also appearing in refugees fleeing Syria and going into the neighboring nations of Turkey and Lebanon.” There is no vaccine for leishmaniasias."