Wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been found in sewage samples of four previously infected districts.

According to the Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio Eradication at the National Institute of Health, five environmental samples collected between May 9 and May 15 from Karachi East, Karachi Central, Kohat and Quetta contained WPV1.  

Virus found in these positive samples was genetically linked to the imported YB3A WPV1 genetic cluster, which disappeared from Pakistan in 2021, remained in circulation in Afghanistan and was reintroduced through cross-border transmission last year.

This virus has been found in sewage samples of 38 districts this year as well as in three cases reported from Dera Bugti, Chaman and Killa Abdullah.

The Pakistan Polio Programme has already conducted four polio vaccination campaigns, including two nationwide campaigns that reached over 42 million children in January and February.

The next polio drive will begin from June 3, ahead of the high-travel season of Eid. It will be held in areas at high risk of poliovirus spread, including 43 full districts and 27 partial districts, to vaccinate more than 17.1 million children under the age of five.

Polio is a devastating incurable disease that can leave a child paralyzed for life. Repeated vaccination is essential to protect children from disability. The Pakistan Polio Programme urges all parents and caregivers to ensure that their children are vaccinated against polio at every opportunity and have completed all routine vaccinations to protect them from 12 vaccine-preventable childhood diseases.  

Note:

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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