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Thursday May 30, 2024

Poliovirus found in sewage of three more cities

By M Waqar Bhatti
March 02, 2024
A health worker (right) marks the finger of a child after administering polio vaccine drops during a door-to-door campaign in Lahore on July 20, 2020. — AFP
A health worker (right) marks the finger of a child after administering polio vaccine drops during a door-to-door campaign in Lahore on July 20, 2020. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad has confirmed the detection of Type-1 Wild Poliovirus (WPV1) in three environmental (sewage) samples collected in February 2024, one each from districts Multan, Karachi Malir and Peshawar.

An official of the Polio Eradication Initiative said in Multan, the environmental sample was collected on 6th February 2024 from the ‘Suraj Miani’ environmental sample collection site.

This is the first positive sample from District Multan this year, he said adding that the previous positive sample from the district was collected on 18th December 2023. The isolated virus is classified as YB3A cluster and 99.44% genetically linked to the virus detected in an environmental sample in Karachi South on 4th December 2023.

In Karachi, the environmental sample was collected on 12th February 2024 from the ‘Landhi Bakhtawar’ environmental sample collection site, which is the 2nd positive sample from District Karachi Malir this year. The previous positive sample from the district was collected on 15th January 2024. The isolated virus is classified as YB3A cluster and 99.66% genetically linked to the virus detected in an environmental sample in Karachi Central on 2nd January 2024.

In Peshawar, the environmental sample was collected on 12th February 2024 from the ‘Naray Khuwar’ environmental sample collection site, which is the 4th positive sample from District Peshawar this year.

The previous three positive samples were collected on 2nd January, 15th January and 22nd January 2024. The isolated virus is classified as YB3A ORPHAN and 98.23% genetically linked to the virus detected in an environmental sample in the same district (i.e. Peshawar) on 6th December 2023. These new detections take the total number of positive environmental (sewage) samples in Pakistan in 2024 to 34.