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Third polio case of 2024 reported in Pakistan

Third polio case of 2024 reported in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The third polio case of the year has been reported from Killa Abdullah district of Balochistan, where a 12-year-old girl was found infected with Wild Poliovirus 1 (WPV1) officials said on Saturday.

According to the Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio at the National Institute of Health, WPV1 was detected in stool samples collected from a 144-month-old child in Darozai union council of Killa Abdullah, who developed symptoms of paralysis on April 20. Genetic sequencing of the isolated virus is underway.

It is the third polio case in 2024 in Pakistan as the previous two polio cases were also reported from different districts of Balochistan, officials said.

“It is incredibly tragic that another child has been affected by polio this year in Balochistan,” said Coordinator to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Malik Mukhtar Ahmed Bharath, adding that polio is a terrible illness that changes not just the child’s life but also of the whole family.

“The government is bringing the polio vaccine to the citizens’ doorsteps in multiple polio vaccination rounds. I urge families to understand the risk this disease poses to children and make sure that they vaccinate all their children under the age of five when the polio worker shows up to their homes.”

Dr Shahzad Baig, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication, said that a detailed case investigation will be launched immediately to identify the origins of the virus, find populations that may have missed vaccination and take corrective measures to contain its spread.

“We have already conducted four polio vaccination campaigns this year, including two nationwide campaigns to boost children’s immunity and we will be conducting another campaign in June,” he added.

This is the third polio case from Balochistan this year and the first reported from Killa Abdullah after three years.

Last year, six polio cases were reported in the country, four from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two from Karachi.






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