LONDON - Two suspected cases of polio have been detected in Syria, the first appearance of the incurable viral disease there in 14 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.
The UN body said initial test results from a cluster of cases of acute flaccid paralysis in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor in early October had come back positive for the crippling disease.
The WHO is still waiting for final test results from its regional reference laboratory. Wild polio virus was last reported in Syria in 1999.
"The Ministry of Health of the Syrian Arab Republic confirms that it is treating this event as a cluster ... and an urgent response is currently being planned across the country, " the Geneva-based WHO said in statement.