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Poliovirus detected in sewage line for first time in over a year in Karachi, Pakistan

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According to local news platform Geo News, the Wild Poliovirus Type-1 was detected in an environmental sample collected from a sewage line in Karachi’s Landhi area in August by Pakistan’s National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad.

According to federal Ministry of National Health Services officials, this is the first positive environmental sample from Sindh this year.

In August alone, 11 positive cases of poliovirus were reported in Pakistan, bringing the total number of cases reported this year to 22. In August, there were five cases each from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab, with Sindh reporting one case.

According to federal ministry officials, the positive environmental sample in Karachi was collected on August 23 from the Bakhtawar village in the Landhi area of Karachi, according to Geo News.

“This is the first positive environmental sample from Karachi in 2022. The previous positive sample from Karachi was reported in May 2021. The last wild poliovirus case from the district was reported in June 2020. The recent polio campaign in the district was conducted from August 15-21,” an official said.

In 2022, thirteen positive environmental samples were collected from KP, with seven from Bannu, three from Peshawar, two from Swat, and one from Nowshera.

Punjab has collected seven positive samples, including three from Lahore, two from Rawalpindi, and one each from Bahawalpur and Sialkot. Karachi and Islamabad have each provided one positive sample.

One of the 22 positive samples was collected in April, two in May, one in June, seven in July, and eleven in August 2022, according to the official, who added that 65 positive environmental samples were detected in the country in 2021.

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Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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