About 192 polio cases were reported in the country last year, nine of them in Punjab.—AP photo

LAHORE: An 18month-old boy, who was diagnosed as a first polio victim of the current year, died here a few days ago.

'My son died at Mayo Hospital after a week of hospitalisation,' Banara Khan told Dawn on Monday.

The death which sent shockwaves through the community may be a cause of alarm for the Punjab administration already battling the dengue disease which has afflicted some people even in winter.

The health authorities are reported to have hushed up the polio case and also concealed medical reports related to the boy's death.

The boy, Mohammad Bashir, was the youngest of eight children of Banara Khan who lives in Darbar Madolay Shah Colony in the city'sShahdara area.

The National Institute of Health had notified the case in a report after laboratory analysis of blood samples of the boy.

Banara Khan said he had taken his son to Mayo Hospital a few weeks ago with high fever and doctors diagnosed the illness as polio.

The hospital reported the case to the health authorities who sent blood samples for analysis.

A source said the Health Department had directed the Mayo Hospital administration not to make public the process of treatment of the boy, detection of virus and his death, to avoid an adverse government reaction.

About 192 polio cases were reported in the country last year, nine of them in Punjab.

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