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Wild poliovirus detected in environmental sample from Peshwar

UK detects polio virus in London sewage samples.(photo: Image Source: IANS News

Islamabad, Aug 18 : The Pakistan Health Ministry said that wild poliovirus has been detected in an environmental sample collected from Peshawar city, taking the total number of positive environmental samples this year in the country to 15.

The sample was collected from Naray Khuwar area of the city on August 1, the Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

This is the seventh positive environmental sample detected in Peshawar so far this year and the fifth consecutive positive from this site, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

Peshawar was covered in the most recent subnational vaccination drive from August 7-13, during which children under five were given the oral polio vaccine and eligible children were also given the injectable vaccine to boost immunity, it added.

“Polio campaigns are being held regularly in the country and parents, particularly in the districts of virus detection, must realize the danger to their child and ensure vaccination at every opportunity,” Secretary for Health Iftikhar Ali Shallwani was quoted as saying in a statement.

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.

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