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Six suspected meningitis cases found near Damascus

Madaya has been under a crippling regime siege [AFP]

Date of publication: 3 September, 2016

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Six suspected cases of meningitis have been identified in a Syrian town near Damascus that is under siege by government forces, the World Heath Organisation said Friday.

Six suspected cases of meningitis have been identified in a Syrian town near Damascus that is under siege by government forces, the World Heath Organisation (WHO) said Friday.

The suspected cases were diagnosed in the town of Madaya between August 3 and August 30.

WHO has already evacuated two of those infected, a child and an adolescent.

The UN agency said it was in contact with health officials about sending medicines and organising the evacuation of the other four suspected cases.

An activist in Madaya, Abdel Wahab Ahmed, who works at a health facility in the town, told AFP that the mother and two sisters of the evacuated child had also become infected.

"The family has been placed in medical isolation in their home, after two weeks of treatment with the only medicines available failed," he said.

Several cases of meningitis are reported every week, according to WHO. Most of them are viral forms of the disease, which tends to be less severe than the bacterial form.

WHO was not in a position to say Friday which type of meningitis was suspected in Madaya.

On August 19, the Red Crescent evacuated 18 people, including 13 sick children from Madaya, according to a doctor who treated the children.

Among the children was a 10-year-old boy who had been suffering from meningitis for a month.

Under a September 2015 accord, all evacuations from the government-besieged towns of Madaya and Zabadani have to be done in parallel with similar evacuations from Fuaa and Kafraya.

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