Wild poliovirus detected in environmental sample from Peshwar

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Islamabad, July 27 (IANS): The Pakistan Health Ministry said that wild poliovirus has been detected in an environmental sample collected from Peshawar city.

In a statement late Wednesday, the Ministry said that the virus was detected in a sewage sample collected from Naray Khuwar area on July 4 and "is genetically linked to poliovirus in circulation in neighboring Afghanistan", reports Xinhua news agency.

"It is imperative that parents and caregivers get their children vaccinated in all polio campaigns and ensure that their routine immunizations are also complete for stronger immunity," Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel was quoted as saying in the statement.

The Minister added that the Pakistan Polio Eradication Program is in close coordination with the Afghanistan Polio Eradication Program and the two countries are working together at all levels to curb cross-border transmission.

This is the fifth positive environmental sample collected from Peshawar this year and the fourth consecutive one from this site, the statement said.

Pakistan has reported only one polio case this year and 12 positive environmental samples, according to the Ministry.

There were 20 documented cases in in 2022, one in 2021, and 84 in 2020.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only remaining countries in the world where polio is still categorised as an endemic viral infection.