Deaths in Syria have been escalating for more than a month from infection with an acute respiratory virus. To date, the virus has not been accurately diagnosed, nor has the Syrian regime’s health ministry officially announced or warned the community about it. Nevertheless, Syrians are certain that the pandemic that is spreading among them is unprecedented — especially for young people.
Pharmacists confirmed to Syria TV that there is an intense demand for the purchase of anti-inflammatory drugs (although they are not recommended for viral infections), cough suppressants, congestion and diarrhea — all without prescriptions. They noted that the situation is worsening due to shortages of many medicines.
One respiratory doctor in Damascus, who preferred not to be named, told Syria TV: “For about a month, Damascus has been witnessing escalating infections with a very acute respiratory virus, which affects the lungs and bronchi with infections. Its symptoms are joint pain, eye inflammation, high fever, severe coughing, headaches, and sometimes diarrhea, vomiting and pain in the intestines. The symptoms vary from person to person, but, remarkably, symptoms are severe for all age groups.”
Severe and unprecedented pandemic
Another respiratory doctor pointed out that the type of virus is unknown, with the health ministry not providing testing. “This is a risk because doctors are unable to determine the best method of treatment,” he indicated. “The current pandemic is severe and escalating more and more, but we cannot know if we have reached the peak or not because there are no statistics.”
“For clinics, currently, we have reached the highest level of infections yet,” the doctor continued. “This may indicate that we have reached the peak of infections, but not necessarily. Our previous experience with COVID-19 has taught us this.”
The regime’s government remains silent.
Regime-controlled areas have not officially announced an abnormal or dangerous virus, nor have they announced any deaths. Despite this official silence, people are spreading news of the mysterious virus, as deaths have recently increased and entire families have begun to develop a high fever.
Rayan’s mother, 37, said that she, her husband and two children were infected with an acute respiratory virus, which was more severe than their previous COVID-19 infections. She indicated that symptoms include general weakness, chest pain, congestion, and a sore throat that lasted for 15 days. As she put it, coughing has continued for one month.
Naboug Al-Awa, former dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Damascus University, said earlier this month in an interview with the Athr Press website — which is close to the regime — that the arrival of infections with the new mutation to Syria’s neighbouring countries indicates that the mutation will inevitably arrive in Syria. At the same time, he said that the severe cases currently spreading are influenza and not COVID-19. The virus’ symptoms are pharyngitis, larynx and a strong cough that requires a long time to heal.
Just days later, a member of the Advisory Committee to Address Epidemics, Essam Anjak, revealed to the official”Al-Baath newspaper that new infections are occurring in Syria with the new COVID-19 mutation, indicating that they are considered the most deadly.
Based on the testimony of the three doctors, it is evident that Syria is suffering from two severe viruses without any official warning or any precautionary measures, whether at the governmental or private level.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.