Women hold a Syrian refugee boy as he gets a polio vaccine in Faida, Friday, April 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/Venetia Rainey)
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"I'd never heard of the polio virus before I came to Lebanon," says Hyam, a 25-year-old mother of four from Syria who now lives in the Bekaa Valley.The aim is to ensure Lebanon does not become the third country in the region after Syria and Iraq to have confirmed cases of polio, ending a more than decadelong absence of the highly infectious paralyzing disease.Polio attacks the nervous system and is incurable once caught.Similarly, for every one child found with the most severe symptoms of polio, roughly 200 other children are likely to silently carry the virus.Wherever the polio vaccine is available, Vitamin A drops to strengthen the immune system and a vaccine for under-18s against measles and rubella will also be given out.
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