The discovery of a polio virus strain linked to Sukkur in the Balochistan capital has sent shockwaves through polio eradication officials, a Unicef official said on Monday.
The Balochistan government has called an emergency meeting and announced it would launch a special campaign in areas bordering the Sindh province. “Wild Polio virus type 1 (WPV1) still exists in the provincial capital of Balochistan as samples collected from the city’s sewage system suggested the persistence of virus in the environment,” said Dr Jawahir Habib, Unicef communication specialist.
She maintained that WHO has collected fresh sewage samples on May 22 from three sites, including Jamia Salfia, Takhtani Bypass and Sur Pul area of Kharotabad The samples were sent to the laboratory in Islamabad. The sample sent from Sur Pul area was found positive for the WPVI, she said.
“The virus reportedly found has link with the Sukkur city of Sindh,” she said. She said that nomads coming from Sindh and other polio endemic areas were serious threat to the efforts against polio in Balochistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2014.
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