Polio cases tally hits 2017 figure on 36th day of 2020

Updated February 06, 2020

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Another polio case reported from Sindh was confirmed on Wednesday. — AP/File
Another polio case reported from Sindh was confirmed on Wednesday. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: Another polio case reported from Sindh was confirmed on Wednesday.

With this addition, the number of polio cases detected this year from across the country has reached eight. Of them, four were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The latest victim is a 40-month-old girl hailing from Jaml union council of Kashmore district’s Yang­wani tehsil, said an official of the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak on record.

“Both legs of the child have been paralysed and socioeconomic status of child has been declared poor. Her father is a farmer. It has been decided to start a polio campaign in the area from Feb 17,” he said.

So far this year, eight cases have been detected, including three in Sindh and one in Balochistan, across the country. In all, 144 cases were reported last year, 12 in 2018, and eight in 2017.

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from this crippling disease. Each time a child aged less than five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased. Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries to become polio free.

Pakistan, which is one of the two countries in the world where polio cases are still being reported, remains under a polio-linked travel restriction recommended by the World Health Organisation since 2014 due to which every person travelling abroad has to carry a polio vaccination certificate.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2020