Karachi Environmental Sample Includes Poliovirus
By Hira Waheed
23 August 2023
A recent report from the Pakistan Polio Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health has revealed the detection of poliovirus in an environmental sample collected from Karachi, the capital of Sindh province. This marks the first instance of poliovirus detection in the city in 2023. Additionally, poliovirus was also identified in two environmental samples in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The health authorities in Pakistan are working in collaboration with Afghanistan to eliminate the poliovirus, with joint efforts being made to combat the spread of the disease.
Poliovirus Detection in Karachi
The Pakistan Polio Laboratory confirmed the presence of poliovirus in an environmental sample collected from the Sohrab Goth area of Karachi on May 15. This detection highlights the ongoing risk of poliovirus transmission in the city. It is crucial to address the situation promptly to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Efforts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
In addition to the detection in Karachi, poliovirus was also found in two environmental samples collected from Larama and Naray Khuwar in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Genetic analysis revealed that the isolated viruses are closely linked to the virus cluster currently circulating in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province. This underscores the importance of cross-border collaboration in combating polio.
Joint Efforts of Pakistan and Afghanistan
Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel emphasized the joint efforts being made by Pakistan and Afghanistan to eliminate polio. The two countries are working together to address the challenges posed by the disease and ensure its eradication. Close cooperation and coordination are crucial to prevent the cross-border transmission of the virus and protect vulnerable populations.
Taking Necessary Steps
The health authorities in Pakistan are committed to taking all necessary steps to eradicate polio. Minister Patel urged the public to ensure that their children receive mandatory polio vaccines. Vaccination campaigns and immunization drives are essential to reach every child and protect them from the debilitating effects of poliovirus.
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