Environmental samples in Peshawar test positive for WPV1

ISLAMABAD: Following Hangu, two extra environmental samples collected from the Peshawar district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have examined constructive for wild poliovirus, officers stated on Monday.

The Pakistan Polio Laboratory on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being has confirmed that wild poliovirus kind 1 (WPV1) has been present in sewage samples collected from Naray Khuwar and Larama assortment websites on Might 9 and Might 16, respectively. In line with the lab, the remoted viruses are genetically linked to the virus cluster circulating within the neighbouring Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

Federal Minister for Well being Abdul Qadir Patel has stated that as the one two endemic international locations, Pakistan and Afghanistan are united of their struggle towards polio and each international locations won’t relaxation till they eradicate it. “The Pakistan Polio Programme is sustaining a sturdy surveillance system, which is obvious from the immediate detections of the virus in sewage samples not too long ago,” he stated. “We are going to proceed to hunt and get rid of the virus wherever we discover it to guard our kids from a disability-causing illness.” The minister added that poliovirus on any aspect of the border is a menace to youngsters in all places, and oldsters should proceed to make sure that their youngsters below 5 obtain the life-saving polio drops in all campaigns.

Dr Shahzad Baig, the Coordinator of the Nationwide Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio Eradication, stated Pakistan collects environmental samples from 114 websites in 80 districts each month to check for WPV1. He added that the presence of the virus within the surroundings is a trigger for concern however not sudden since final month was the high-travel season of Eid. “The Polio Programme has mounted swift responses to all virus detections up to now and can proceed to take action in future to stop poliovirus from discovering a house in under-immunised youngsters,” he stated.

The NEOC coordinator added that the Pakistan Polio Programme is working in shut coordination and collaboration with the Afghanistan Polio Programme and provincial EOC to make sure high-quality vaccination in any respect border crossings and to determine and plug any remaining immunization gaps. Pakistan has reported just one polio case and 9 constructive environmental samples to this point this 12 months, whereas three human instances and 23 constructive environmental samples have been reported in Afghanistan.