Concerns rise as more poliovirus detected in sewage samples from Quetta, Pakistan

Concerns rise as more poliovirus detected in sewage samples from Quetta, Pakistan
Concerns rise as more poliovirus detected in sewage samples from Quetta, Pakistan (Image: Reuters)
Concerns rise as more poliovirus detected in sewage samples from Quetta, Pakistan
Concerns rise as more poliovirus detected in sewage samples from Quetta, Pakistan (Image: Reuters)

Concerns rise as more poliovirus detected in sewage samples from Quetta, Pakistan

Concerns rise as more poliovirus detected in sewage samples from Quetta, Pakistan

Concerns rise as more poliovirus detected in sewage samples from Quetta, Pakistan

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 22 (ANI): Two additional sewage samples, this time from Quetta and Karachi, have tested positive for the presence of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1), sparking concern among health officials, Dawn reported.

According to Regional Reference Lab for Polio Eradication at the National Institute of Health, these samples were genetically linked to the imported YB3A cluster of the virus, which is prevalent in Afghanistan.

Despite the successful eradication of the cluster from Pakistan in 2021, its continued circulation in the neighbouring country has led to its reintroduction through cross-border transmission in January 2023, the report added.

The environmental sample taken from Karachi was specifically collected from the Keamari district.Authorities reveal that environmental samples gathered from 31 districts have tested positive thus far, all exhibiting the YB3A poliovirus genetic cluster.Additionally, the two polio cases reported in 2024 were also genetically linked to this same cluster.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio Eradication convened a briefing for donors and partner organisations supporting the Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI).During the session, attendees were briefed on the progress of efforts aimed at eradicating polio.

Among those present were Prime Minister’s Coordinator on National Health Services, Malik Mukhtar Ahmad Bharath; Federal Health Secretary Nadeem Mehbub; representatives from WHO, Unicef, and Rotary Foundation; Chairman of Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee, Aziz Memon; and officials from donor agencies.

Bharath reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to meeting its global public health obligations and eradicating polio.He emphasised the significant progress made in polio eradication efforts, attributing it to the support of valued partners and donors. Bharath acknowledged the continued detection of polio cases, underscoring the ongoing need for intensified efforts.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Mehbub affirmed the Ministry’s support for the polio eradication programme, emphasising the goal of reaching every child with the vaccine.He echoed Bharath’s sentiments regarding the critical role of partner agencies and donors, expressing hope for their continued support as Pakistan strives to interrupt poliovirus transmission this year, Dawn reported. (ANI).

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by VoM News staff and is published from ANI website)

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