Syria Vows All Children Will Be Vaccinated

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The Syrian government has vowed that all children in the country will be vaccinated from polio.

The decision comes after an outbreak of polio surfaced in the Northeast.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said the government will work with U.N. agencies and aid groups to reach children, especially those in areas held by rebels.

The World Health Organization recently recorded the first suspected outbreak of polio in Syria, raising new concerns about the country's health care.

It's the first confirmed outbreak of polio in the country in 14 years, raising a risk it could spread. The cases reported involved 10 babies and toddlers, all of whom the WHO claim were "under-immunized."

Polio invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis within hours.

According to the Telegraph, vaccination programs have dramatically reduced the number of polio cases globally. But the highly infectious disease has no cure. As Syrian's flee to other countries, health experts are concerned the disease will spread with them.

Doctors also report flare up's of typhoid, hepatitis, and a flesh-eating parasite called leishmaniasis.

The Syrian civil war is being blamed for many of these new outbreaks. A study by the WHO earlier this year found that at least 35 percent of Syria's public hospitals are damaged or destroyed. In some areas up to 70 percent of health care workers have fled.

Nathanial Hurd, with World Vision, told CBN News his organization is scrambling to provide care for refugees as winter approaches.

"With winter coming especially in just a few weeks, it's as cold as it gets anywhere in the United States," he said. "In some places you'll even find snow. And so we're racing against the clock to make sure people have warm clothing and tents and so on in prep for winter months."

The cold could actually be helpful when it comes to the spread of disease, which are more likely to thrive in heat.

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