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WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters that the 17 children with acute flaccid paralysis first showed symptoms between 3 March and 23 May.
"We are very worried, because obviously if there is already one case of polio of a kid that is paralysed it's already an outbreak," he warned.
"We know for example that for one kid that is paralysed there are almost 200 asymptomatic so it means that virus circulating, so it is very serious."
More than 300,000 people have lost their lives in six years of conflict in Syria, which began with protests against President Bashar al-Assad before escalating into a full-scale civil war. Eleven million other people have been displaced by the fighting.