Pakistan reports this year's 19th polio case, still a long way to a polio-free society

The number of polio cases detected in Pakistan this year has increased to 19.
Pakistan is one of the few countries with the last remnants of polio virus.
Pakistan is one of the few countries with the last remnants of polio virus.IANS

The number of polio cases detected in Pakistan this year has increased to 19 after a six-month-old child in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's (KP) South Waziristan district was paralyzed by the virus, the Health Ministry announced on Friday.

According to the Ministry, the child had an onset of paralysis on August 22 as confirmed by the Pakistan National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health, reports Xinhua news agency.

This was the first case from South Waziristan this year.

All 19 cases were detected in KP -- two patients from Lakki Marwat, 16 from North Waziristan, and one from South Waziristan district.

Controlling the outbreak in KP remains the focus of the Pakistan Polio Program, the Ministry said.

"The humanitarian crisis in the wake of floods poses graver challenges to polio eradication efforts as we grapple with the displacement of millions of people.

"This mass displacement will lead to the spread of wild poliovirus making it even more important to vaccinate children against polio," Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel was quoted as saying. (KB/IANS)

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