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Poliovirus detected in sewage samples of 7 infected districts of Pakistan

Islamabad, June 20: Wild poliovirus type 1 has been detected in sewage samples of seven already infected districts of Pakistan, the Pakistani Health Ministry said. Nine environmental samples collected between June 3 and June 4 from Quetta, Chaman, and Pishin districts of southwest Balochistan province, Hyderabad, Mirpur Khas, and Karachi Keamari districts of southern Sindh province and Peshawar district of northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, tested positive for the virus, the Ministry said on Thursday in a statement. So far in 2024, five people have been reported to have been infected by the virus, Xinhua news agency reported.

This year the virus has been reported in 45 districts, including two districts where only polio cases have been positive, not sewage samples, said the statement. The Pakistan Polio Programme is implementing an intense vaccination schedule this year to curb the spread of the virus, it added. The programme has already conducted five polio vaccination campaigns, including two national campaigns as well as crucial polio campaigns ahead of the recent high-travel Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, according to the Ministry.

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