Wild poliovirus detected in environmental sample in Karachi

by IANS |

Karachi, June 9 (IANS) An environmental sample collected from Karachi has tested positive for the wild poliovirus, the Pakistan Health Ministry said.

The sample was collected on May 15 and its genetic sequencing is still awaited, the Ministry said in a statement, adding that the last positive sample in the port city was detected in August 2022, reports Xinhua news agency.

Pakistan is committed to eradicating polio and ensuring a healthier future for children, Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel was quoted as saying in the statement.

"The swift detection of the virus in the environment highlights that we are maintaining the highest standard of polio surveillance, but it also means children are at constant risk," he said.

The Minister added that polio eradication is a collective national responsibility and parents must ensure repeated polio vaccination and essential immunization for their children to boost their immunity.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two polio endemic nations.

According to a recent report from the World Health Organization, all the new polio cases reported in Pakistan since January 2021 are from seven polio-endemic districts in the southern part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

In 2021, there was one documented case in Pakistan and 84 in 2020.

In 2019, there were a record 147 cases.

Last year, there were 20 cases.

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