ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reported a second case within 10 days after remaining polio-free for nearly 15 months.
New cases have caused panic among officials involved as mass movements during the Eid holiday allow the virus to travel with people.
The new victim, paralyzed by the wild polio virus, is a 2-year-old girl from northern Waziristan, the Pakistan National Polio Research Institute at the Islamabad National Institutes of Health said.
Earlier, on April 22, a 15-month-old boy was confirmed to have contracted the polio virus. Both children are on the Mir Ali committee in North Waziristan.
Wild poliovirus (WPV1) cases are genetically linked and belong to the same virus cluster, further substantiating concerns of the Pakistan polio program in the southern KP region where continued viral circulation has been detected.
Teams have already been sent to the area to give children an oral and injectable polio vaccine to boost immunity.
“The national and provincial polio emergency operation centers are conducting an emergency vaccination campaign after a confirmed case was released last week. Health Minister Amir Ashraf Kawaza said: “I strongly urge everyone traveling for the Eid holiday to vaccinate their children if they are traveling from one region to another.
“This is very sad for all of us involved in the polio program, but we want to be resilient and not fail. We will do our best to make this little girl the last child to contract wild polio, but we fear that as the virus spreads, more children in the same area may be affected.
Health care workers in the polio program continue to reach children in North Waziristan despite difficult conditions in hard-to-reach areas.
Posted at Serb on April 30, 2022