Polio Update – Islamabad, April 6, 2024

WPV1-positive sewage sample reported from Usta Muhammad

Wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been detected from a sewage sample of Usta Muhammad district of Balochistan and nine other previously positive districts.

The Regional Reference Lab for Polio Eradication at the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, has notified the National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication that the virus was detected in 12 sewage samples collected during mid-March.

The number of infected districts in the country now stands at 31.

The virus isolated from the sewage  samples is genetically linked to the YB3A poliovirus genetic cluster, which disappeared from Pakistan in 2021, remained in circulation in Afghanistan and was reintroduced through cross-border transmission in January 2023. This virus has been found in all positive samples and two polio cases reported this year.

In a statement, Federal Secretary for Health Iftikhar Ali Shallwani said polio has harmed our children for too long and urged parents to understand the urgency of the situation. Stressing the importance of vaccination, the health secretary called on parents to ensure that all children under the age of five are vaccinated multiple times against polio.

The Pakistan Polio Programme has already conducted three vaccination campaigns so far this year, including two nationwide campaigns, to increase children’s immunity against polio. The next campaign is planned in April and in upcoming months.


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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