Poliovirus found in Bannu, Peshawar, Lahore, Swat

Health worker in Pakistan giving polio drops to a child.— Reuters/File
  • Wild poliovirus has paralyzed 17 children in Pakistan.
  • One of them died from an illness.
  • 10 positive environmental samples detected in August.

ISLAMABAD: The National Polio Laboratory of Pakistan has detected wild poliovirus type 1 (PVS1) in environmental samples collected from Bannu, Peshawar, Lahore and Swat, The news reported.

“This is the seventh positive environmental sample from Bannu, the third from Peshawar and Lahore each and the second from Swat this year,” officials from the national health, regulatory and coordination departments said.

So far, wild poliovirus has crippled 17 children in Pakistan, one of whom has died from complications from the disease. All of these polio cases were reported in North Waziristan and Lakki Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, they said.

Read more: Pakistan detects new polio case in North Waziristan

NHS officials said a total of 10 positive environmental samples were detected in August, five each from Punjab and KP, taking the number of positive environmental samples to 21 in the year.

Of these, seven positive environmental samples were detected in Bannu, three in Lahore and Peshawar each, two in Rawalpindi and Swat, and one in Nowshera, Bahawalpur, Sialkot and Islamabad.

During a monthly break, one positive environmental sample was detected in April, two in May, one in June, seven in July and 10 in August 2022.

Read more: Sewage samples reveal the presence of poliovirus in 7 cities

“In 2021, 65 positive environmental samples were detected in the country,” the official added.

To mitigate the risks associated with the detection of poliovirus, an immediate response (sub-national) tour was implemented in August.

As of September 5, extensive outreach activities are also underway in districts with recent positive environmental samples.

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