Disease Outbreaks In Syria ‘Inevitable,’ WHO Warns

“Outbreaks of hepatitis, typhoid, cholera or dysentery are ‘inevitable’ in Syria and its neighbors this summer, while cases of measles and other infections are already growing because of the country’s broken health system and increasing numbers of displaced people, the [WHO] has warned,” The Guardian reports (Meikle, 6/4). “Almost 4.25 million Syrians who have had to leave their homes are living in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions, with concerns about the provision of safe drinking water and safe sanitation,” BBC News writes, adding, “According to the WHO, at least 35 percent of the country’s public hospitals are out of service, and in some areas, up to 70 percent of the health workforce has fled” (6/4). The “WHO statement added that diarrhea and hepatitis A cases had doubled since January 2013, and because the Syrian health service could not run any vaccination campaign, measles started spreading across the country,” World Bulletin notes (6/5). “Cases of acute watery diarrhea have also shot up by 172 percent, from 243 cases to 660” from early January to the second week of May, The Star adds (Yang, 6/4).