A suspected case of polio that was reported from Thatta on Tuesday might actually be a case of acute flaccid paralysis, clarified a World Health Organisation Pakistan official on Wednesday.
The 18-month old girl, A, was reported to have been the 24th polio victim in Pakistan this year. The girl reportedly received more than seven oral polio vaccine doses, while the date of the onset of her illness was set at July 7, 2012.
The girl’s stool sample has been sent to the Polio Virology Laboratory at the National Institute of Health in Islamabad, which is the only laboratory in the country that confirms the presence of the polio virus in suspected patients.
AFP is often characterised as one of the signs of acute polio in patients, and is also used for polio surveillance. However, the condition is also associated with other pathogenic agents like enteroviruses, echoviruses and adenoviruses. Its symptoms are a lot similar to those of polio, and include weakness, paralysis and loss of muscle tone, among others. The sudden onset of these symptoms are one principle characteristic of the condition. The laboratory would take around 22 to 30 days to conclusively determine whether the girl has polio or not.
Sindh has reported three polio cases so far this year; one each from Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad and Larkana. The last case in the province was reported on May 21. Officials seemed optimistic about the trend, as 14 cases were reported in the province during the corresponding period last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.