Type 1 Wild Poliovirus (WPV1) was detected in environmental samples collected in August from five cities in August-September 2022, the National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health, Islamabad (NIH) confirmed.
The News quoted the officials in the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSR&C) as saying that the new environmental samples were collected from District Bannu, Peshawar, Swat, South Waziristan and Rawalpindi.
“This is the 8th environmental sample found with the virus from Bannu, 4th sample from Peshawar, and the 3rd positive sample each from Rawalpindi and Swat, this year,” an official of the NHSR&C said.
From South Waziristan, this is the first positive environmental sample after the WPV1 case was confirmed from the district last week, he added.
The total number of positive environmental samples in 2022 now stands at 27.
Seventeen positive environmental samples were detected from KP (eight from Bannu, four from Peshawar, three from Swat, and one each from Nowshera and South Waziristan), eight positive samples from Punjab (three each from Lahore & Rawalpindi and one each from Bahawalpur & Sialkot), and one positive sample each from Sindh) (Karachi Landhi) and Islamabad.
One positive environmental sample was detected in April, two in May, one in June, seven on July, 15 in August and one in September 2022. In 2021, 65 positive environmental samples were detected in the country. To mitigate the risks associated with the recent poliovirus detection from the environment, an immediate response round (sub-national) was implemented in August 2022, the official added.
Extended outreach activities were also conducted in the current month in the districts with recent positive environmental samples. A mop-up activity in the five districts of KP with recent detection is also currently in progress.
A campaign in Karachi, Quetta Block, and Zhob will also be conducted next week, the official said, adding that besides this, optimal vaccination of the high-risk and mobile population/children on the move is being ensured at transit vaccination points all across the country.
In Bannu, the environmental sample was collected on September 1, 2022 from the Hinjil Noorabad site. This is the 8th positive sample from district Bannu in 2022. One positive sample was detected in April 2022, two in May 2022, one each in June 2022 and July 2022, two in August 2022, and one in September 2022. The last wild poliovirus case from the district was reported in April 2020.
As far as Peshawar is concerned, the environmental sample was collected on September 7 2022 from the Shaheen Muslim Town site. This is the 4th positive environmental sample from the district in 2022. One positive sample was detected in July 2022, two in August 2022 and one in September 2022. The last Wild Poliovirus case from the district was reported in July 2020.
In Swat, the environmental sample was collected on 30th August 2022 from the Sharifabad tributary of Saidu Sharif site. This is the 3rd positive sample from district Swat in 2022. A previous positive sample from the district was detected in August 2022. The last Wild Poliovirus case from the district was reported in November 2014.
In South Waziristan, the environmental sample was collected on 5th September 2022 from the Kunr Cheena & Spaishta site.
In Rawalpindi, the environmental sample was collected on 8th September 2022 from the Safdarabad site. This is the 3rd positive environmental sample from the district in 2022. The last Wild Poliovirus case from the district was reported in June 2010.