Three years of war in Syria have left the health care system in a shambles. Over 100,000 children have been unable to receive vaccinations and polio and measles are showing up again. Polio is a particular problem because Pakistani Islamic terrorist rebels have apparently brought polio back to Syria. In 2013 there were over fifty cases of polio in Syria, after having been absent since the late 1990s. In 2013 the vaccination rate for Syrian children fell from 95 percent to under 80 percent and is expected to plunge even more in 2014.
In 2014 thousands of polio causes are expected and there have already been several outbreaks of measles, which is less deadly than polio but also largely absent from Syria for decades. In 2013 there were over 10,000 known cases. Measles, mumps and rubella hits adults as well as children because few adults received booster vaccinations after childhood. Polio can also hit adults who did not receive a booster dose of vaccine. Adults are also liable to get typhus and other rapidly spreading diseases that have not been a problem in Syria for a long time.
update: Just as the Pakistani polio is being spread to syria by Alqaeda jihadis, so also is Iraq in danger. Also from StrategyPage:
The government is preparing to distribute polio vaccine to 20 million Iraqis. This is in response to the recent (March) confirmation that the first case of polio had been found in Iraq since 2000. This was the result of Pakistani based Islamic terrorists infected by polio (but not crippled by it, which is common with many people exposed to polio or other viruses like influenza) coming from Syria since 2012. Syria had polio outbreaks earlier in 2013 and has been unable to carry out a polio vaccination program because of the violence and the refusal of some rebel groups to cooperate. Polio is a problem because Pakistani Islamic terrorist rebels have apparently brought polio back to Syria. As a result in 2013 there were over fifty cases of polio in Syria, after having been absent since the late 1990s. In the first three months of 2014 there were 27 cases. In Pakistan there were 62 cases of polio in 2013, which was more than all of 2012 (58). In Pakistan polio cases reached a low of 28 in 2005 but then Islamic terrorist opposition to vaccination led to a sharp increase that hit 198 cases in 2011. Since then Pakistani government and religious leaders have sought to deal with resistance to the vaccination campaign. A Pakistani Taliban ban on polio vaccinations has left over 250,000 young children vulnerable to the disease and these are most of the ones getting infected. Years of Islamic radical clerics preaching that polio is un-Islamic has caused a growing number of parents to refuse the vaccinations even when there is no Islamic terrorist threat of retaliation