Polio cases in Pakistan this year reached 45 with two new cases of paralytic disease reported in Punjab, anti-polio officials said in a statement.
An official of the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Polio Virology Laboratory, requesting anonymity, said that cases were reported from Lahore, Jhelum district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bannu district and Lakki Marwat.
“In Lahore nine-month-old boy, in Jhelum four-year-old girl, in Bannu six-month-old boy and in Lakki Marwat 12-month-old girl have been confirmed with virus of the crippling disease. Samples of the stool were received last month but were confirmed on Sunday as incubation period of virus is around three weeks,” he said.
The total number of polio cases in Mardan district has reached 17 with the fresh case.
When contacted, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Polio Eradication Babar Bin Atta confirmed that four more children were infected with the virus of the crippling disease.
He said, “However, there are some positive things which have been gathered. The four-year-old girl from Jhelum was suffered by a stroke due to which her immunity level had gone down. The girl was paralysed due to the stroke. As the polio virus was found in her sample she had been declared a case of polio. However, it shows that the girl was attacked by the virus because her immunity level had gone down. Second thing is that it shows that our surveillance level is very high,”
“As far as the nine-month-old boy from Lahore is concerned, he is not paralyzed, although the polio virus was confirmed in his sample. It shows that the immunity level of the child was very high due to which he was not paralyzed,” he said.
Mr. Babar claimed that investigations into the cases from Bannu and Lakki Marwat revealed that the children did not receive polio drops. Their parents used to mark their children’s fingers with markers on the first day of polio campaigns held in their areas to dodge vaccinators that their children had already been vaccinated, he added.
It is pertinent to mention that during the current year as many as 35 polio cases have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its tribal districts, five from Punjab, three from Sindh and two cases from Balochistan.
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27 September, 2019