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Polio detected in nine more environmental samples

The total number of affected districts remained at 45 this year, while five cases of polio have been reported this year, stated the report

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Polio detected in nine more environmental samples
Polio detected in nine more environmental samples

Lahore: Nine more environmental samples have confirmed poliovirus this week, bringing the total to 185 for the year.

The total number of affected districts remained at 45 this year, while five cases of polio have been reported this year, stated the report.

An official at the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Polio Eradication Laboratory confirmed the presence of type-1 wild poliovirus (WPV1) in nine sewage samples.

Polio was confirmed in an environmental sample from the railway bridge site in Quetta, which was the 22nd positive sample from Quetta this year overall. A sample was also collected from Pishin and was the fifth positive sample from the district this year. The samples were collected from Armi Kaziba and Hadi Packet sites in Chaman, bringing the number of positive samples to 14 in the district.

“In Hyderabad, a sample was collected from the Tulsidas pumping station site and was the 9th positive sample of the district this year”.

In Mirpurkhas, one sample was collected from a site near the ring road and it was the third positive sample from the district this year, the official said.

He stated that two samples were collected from Karachi district Kemari, Mohammad Khan Colony and Orangi Nala sites, taking the number of positive polio samples to 11.

Also, in Peshawar, a sample was collected from the Narekhwar Palosi bridge site and was the 13th positive sample from Peshawar district this year.

In response to a question, the official explained, “If the virus of the disease is found in the sewage sample, it will be called positive and when a child is paralysed by the virus, it is called a positive case”.

He stated that the sample of sewage water from an area is the main parameter to determine whether the polio vaccination campaign is running successfully. After the samples are detected, a polio campaign is immediately organised to eradicate the virus from the area.

A case of polio could be reported in any city due to people moving from one city to another, but the presence of the virus in sewage water meant that the vaccination campaign in the area could not meet its target. While the presence of the virus in sewage water suggests that local children are immunocompromised and at risk of contracting the disease, told the official.

The NIH expert added that Pakistan was on the verge of eradicating polio in 2019, but the country had to bear the cost of 'leadership irresponsibility'.

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