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Flesh-Eating Maggot Disease Hit Syria

Update Date: Nov 30, 2014 05:24 PM EST

Health experts have identified three cases of myiasis near Damascus, marking the first appearance of the flesh-eating maggot disease in Syria. 

Myiasis, an affliction caused when flies lay their eggs in wounds, is not lethal for humans, but its appearance says a lot about worsening living conditions in war-ravaged Syria, the World Health Organization said.

The organization has already issued an alert about the reappearance of polio in the north of the country, where tuberculosis, typhoid and scabies have again become endemic. 

 "Three cases of myiasis, otherwise called screw flies, were reported on November 19 in Syria," WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told AFP.

"This disease is not so much a danger in itself, but should rather be seen as an indicator for very bad water supply, sanitary and hygienic, as well as socioeconomic circumstances in besieged and hard-to-reach areas," Lindmeier said.

Lindmeir pointed that neighboring Damascus, which usually has a daily supply of around 350,000 cubic meters of water, "has lost two thirds of its drinking water supply".

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