Poliovirus cripples another child

KARACHI: Another child has been crippled by poliovirus in Karachi’s Gadap Town, increasing the number of cases this year to six in Pakistan.
“A 31-month-old boy has been affected by Wild Poliovirus 1 in the notorious UC-4 Gujro, Gadap Town in District East Karachi. It is the 5th polio case of 2023 in Pakistan and the 2nd case in Karachi,” an official of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Sindh said. The official maintained that the latest polio case had been reported from the same area in Gadap Town where the fourth polio case of the year was reported last month. He added that the fifth child who has been affected by the polio is an Afghan national.
“This child had received three doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) as per routine immunisation, two shots of intravenous polio vaccine (IPV) while the child has also received OPV doses on more than seven occasions,” the official claimed citing the initial investigation of the case.
He maintained that genetic sequencing of the isolated virus was under way but no travel history of the child had emerged. He added that an intensive investigation had been launched to ascertain the circumstances that led to a resurgence of the poliovirus in Karachi.
It is worth mentioning here that most of the polio cases in Karachi have been reported from the same UC-4 Gujro, Gadap Town, which has been a hub of Afghan nationals who regularly travel to their native areas in Afghanistan from there.
The UC is also known for its refusal of polio vaccination during anti-polio campaigns.
On Thursday, it was reported that Type-1 Wild Poliovirus (WPV1) was detected in nine environmental samples that were collected in October. Four of those samples were collected from Karachi, two from Chaman and one each from Peshawar, Kohat and Nowshera.
According to officials, the total number of polio cases in Pakistan in 2023 has reached five while the new detections have taken the total number of positive environmental (sewage) samples in the country in 2023 to 64. –Agencies