Islamabad, October 30, 2023 – Wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been found in a sewage sample collected from Karachi.

The Regional Reference Lab for Polio Eradication at the National Institute of Health has notified that the virus was found in an environmental sample collected from Karachi East on October 10 and the isolated virus belongs to the YB3A cluster circulating in Afghanistan.

Federal Minister for Health Dr Nadeem Jan urged parents to vaccinate their children in an upcoming vaccination drive to ensure that they remain protected.

“Polio has no cure and any paralysis caused by it is irreversible, only the polio vaccine offers lifelong protection,” the minister said. “We are conducting targeted vaccination campaigns in all places where the virus has been detected and I urge all parents to get their children vaccinated.”

This is the 12th positive sample from Karachi and sixth from Karachi East this year. The fourth case of the country was also reported from this district earlier this month.

Children were vaccinated in all districts of Karachi during the nationwide vaccination campaign from October 2 to 8, while the next campaign will be held from October 30 onwards.

Pakistan has so far reported four polio cases and 55 positive environmental samples this year.

Note for the Editor:

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five years. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease. Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free, besides the two endemic countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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