Polio Update – Islamabad, March 20, 2024

WPV1 detected in nine sewage samples

Nine sewage samples collected from six districts have tested positive for wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1).

The Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio Eradication at the National Institute of Health has notified to the National Emergency Operations Center for Polio Eradication that WPV1 was found in two sewage samples taken from Quetta, two from Chaman, two from Peshawar and one each from Karachi South, Karachi Korangi and Mastung between February 21 and February 27, taking the number of total positive environmental samples in 2024 to 65.

All positive environmental samples contain the YB3A virus cluster, which disappeared from Pakistan in 2021 and was reintroduced through cross-border transmission in January 2023.

This virus has been detected in more than 150 sewage samples and five cases since 2023 in more than 20 districts.

Federal Secretary for Health Iftikhar Ali Shallwani said in a statement that poliovirus is a persistent threat to children everywhere. Children with low immunity due to malnutrition, underlying diseases or unvaccinated or under-vaccinated for childhood diseases and polio are at particular risk of contracting polio since they would not be able to fight off a polio infection.

The Pakistan Polio Programme urges parents and caregivers to understand the risk of this terrible disease and ensure that all children under five years of age around them are vaccinated multiple times against polio.

All six districts of detection were covered during two nationwide polio vaccination drives conducted in January and February during which over 40 million children were vaccinated, while another campaign is planned in April.


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, except for the two endemic countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

For further information, please contact: Ms Hania Naeem, Communications Officer, NEOC,

Contact No:+923431101988

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