Poliovirus Resurfaces in Gadap Town, Karachi – Sixth Case Reported in Pakistan

The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Sindh official stated that an intensive investigation has been initiated to identify the factors leading to the resurgence of the poliovirus in Karachi. Earlier reports revealed the detection of Type-1 Wild Poliovirus (WPV1) in environmental samples from various locations, including Karachi, Chaman, Peshawar, Kohat, and Nowshera. With this new case, the total number of polio cases in Pakistan for 2023 has reached five, and the positive environmental (sewage) samples for the year stand at 64.

Health officials in Karachi confirmed another case of poliovirus in Gadap Town, bringing the total polio cases for the year in Pakistan to six. The affected child, a 31-month-old boy, tested positive for Wild Poliovirus 1 in the UC-4 Gujro area of Gadap Town. This marks the second case in Karachi for 2023, and the region had reported the fourth polio case just last month.

UC-4 Gujro, Gadap Town, has been a recurring hotspot for polio cases, with a history of resistance to polio vaccination during anti-polio campaigns. This region often involves Afghan nationals who frequently travel to Afghanistan, contributing to the challenges in eradicating the virus.

The child, identified as an Afghan national, had received routine immunization, including three doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), two shots of intravenous polio vaccine (IPV), and more than seven OPV doses. Despite the immunization, the genetic sequencing of the isolated virus is underway, and the child’s travel history remains unknown.

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