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Authorities Alarmed as Poliovirus Spreads Rapidly in Karachi

Authorities have been alarmed in the Karachi district of Sindh after the Ministry of Health on Thursday confirmed that the polio virus has been found in the environmental sample there, ARY News reported.

According to a Ministry of Health spokesman, this virus is genetically connected to the polio virus cluster in Afghanistan. Dr Nadeem Jan, Pakistan’s caretaker Minister of Health, stated that actions are being taken on an emergency basis to eradicate polio.

In the polio campaign, he urged parents to give their children polio drops, and Nadeem Jan urged the parents to keep their children from becoming permanently disabled.

On October 30, a five-day special anti-polio vaccination campaign began in Pakistan on Monday (today) after wild poliovirus Type-1 was discovered in sewage systems. A five-day special anti-polio vaccination campaign in 31 districts across all four provinces after environmental monitoring of sewage samples revealed the presence of wild poliovirus Type-1, ARY News reported.

According to sources, the Outbreak Response campaign would be carried out in three phases in six outbreak zones across the four provinces.

Over 10 million youngsters under the age of five will receive the vaccine as well as a supplemental dosage of vitamin A throughout the campaign, reported ARY News.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization in a recent report said that the risk of the international spread of poliovirus still remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). There are no travel restrictions in Pakistan as of now.

The risk of the international spread of Wild Poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Africa is based on many factors.

“The ongoing transmission in eastern Afghanistan with cross border spread into Pakistan” marks one of the reasons for polio spread in Pakistan, according to the report.

Adding to this, the committee noted the large pool of unvaccinated ‘zero dose’ children in southern Afghanistan constitutes an ongoing risk of WPV1 re-introduction into the southern region.

“Sub-optimal immunization coverage was achieved during campaigns in south-eastern Africa, in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, meaning there may be insufficient population immunity to halt transmission,” the report added.

Source : Indian Defense News