Sewage samples collected from two new districts, Bahawalpur and DI Khan, and 10 already infected districts have tested positive for wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1).

The Regional Reference Lab for Polio Eradication at the National Institute of Health has notified that 15 environmental samples collected between May 8 and May 20 from Bahawalpur, DI Khan, Peshawar, Lakki Marwat, Karachi South, Karachi East, Karachi Korangi, Mirpur Khas, Chaman, Quetta, Mastung and Usta Muhammad contained WPV1.  

These samples contained virus that is genetically linked to the imported YB3A WPV1 genetic cluster, like all other virus detections in the country this year. The YB3A virus cluster disappeared from Pakistan in 2021, remained in circulation in Afghanistan and was reintroduced through cross-border transmission last year.

This year the virus has been reported in 42 districts, including two districts where only cases have been positive, not sewage samples.

The Pakistan Polio Programme is implementing an intense vaccination schedule this year to curb the spread of the virus. The Programme has already conducted four polio vaccination campaigns and is currently conducting the fifth campaign of the year, which is underway in 69 districts since June 3, ahead of the high-travel season of Eid, to vaccinate over 17.1 million children under the age of five in 37 districts as well as select areas of 32 other districts.

Polio is a devastating incurable disease that can leave a child paralyzed for life. The Pakistan Polio Programme urges all parents and caregivers to ensure that their children are vaccinated against it 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

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.