Wild Poliovirus 1 Detected in Environmental Samples from Four Pakistani Cities

Estimated read time 2 min read

Environmental samples collected from four different cities in Pakistan have tested positive for Wild Poliovirus 1 (WPV1), according to a report by ARY News. This recent discovery raises concerns about the persistent presence of the poliovirus in the country and its impact on public health.

The samples were collected from the cities of Karachi, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, and Chaman. The Pakistan Polio Laboratory, located at the National Institute of Health, determined that the virus found in these samples is linked to Afghanistan, indicating possible cross-border transmission.

This alarming development comes shortly after environmental samples from Hub, Lahore, and Peshawar had also tested positive for poliovirus. The repeated detection of the virus in various cities highlights the challenges Pakistan faces in eradicating polio completely.

Dr. Nadeem Jan, the Minister of Health, expressed his concern about the ongoing transmission of the virus through environmental samples. He urged officials to take all necessary steps to protect children from this crippling disease, emphasizing the importance of immunization and surveillance efforts.

Dr. Jan stated, “So far, 43 samples have been found positive in the country, which is concerning. Pakistan has the most effective surveillance system, and it has been working effectively.” He pointed out that nearly 90% of polio cases in Pakistan have been “imported from Afghanistan,” highlighting the cross-border challenges faced by both countries.

Sewage samples collected from Dera Bugti in Balochistan and Peshawar recently tested positive for the poliovirus, with both strains closely resembling those found in Afghanistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where the poliovirus remains endemic, making the continuous transmission of the virus a major concern.

As of the latest data, the transmission of wild poliovirus has been primarily restricted to seven districts in the south of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Tank, Bannu, North Waziristan, South Waziristan Upper, South Waziristan Lower, Dera Ismail Khan, and Lakki Marwat.

A report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in August noted that all reported polio cases since January 2021 had been linked to the seven polio-endemic districts in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Efforts to combat polio transmission in these regions remain a top priority for health authorities in Pakistan.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours