Pakistan on Friday reported two more polio cases, health officials confirmed.
“This makes a total of six Wild Poliovirus cases confirmed this year in Pakistan,” the statement from the National Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Eradication said.
“The new cases have been reported from tehsil Mir Ali,” the health officials said, adding that samples taken from two 18-month-old babies had tested positive for the poliovirus.
One case was reported from Union Council-2 and the other from Union Council-7. These were the fourth and fifth case of the poliovirus to be reported from the tehsil.
The district has fast become a hotspot for polio with all six cases reported in 2022, confirmed from this particular district.
Health officials said that they had detected the Type-1 Wild Poliovirus (WPV1) in the stool of an 18-month-old girl and from that of an 18-month-old boy after they had displayed initial symptoms of polio, the onset of paralysis, on May 10 and May 11, respectively.
According to a preliminary report, both cases showed that the children had never received vaccination during the routine immunization drives for the poliovirus after their family turned away vaccinators. However, health officials that the children had been administered some oral polio virus (OPV) doses during other polio campaigns.
A detailed investigation into why the children contracted the virus is underway, officials said.
With Friday’s confirmation, it takes the global tally of wild polio cases so far this year to seven, the statement added, noting that six of them have been from Pakistan.
Prior to the first poliovirus case reported earlier this year in April, Pakistan had spent 15-months without detecting a single case of the virus, the longest such period in its history.