Sindh reports another polio case, taking year’s tally to 13

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ISLAMABAD: One more polio case was reported from Sindh on Saturday, taking this year’s tally for the province to 13 and that of the country to 37.

According to an official of the National Institute of Health (NIH), the latest case was detected in Union Council Kareem Baksh, Tehsil Thull in District Jacobabad.

“The infected child is a 36-month-old-male and is the son of a labourer,” added the NIH official.

The provincial data for the child-crippling disease for the current year so far shows 18 cases from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 13 from Sindh, five from Balochistan and one from Punjab.

Last year, 146 cases were recorded, a sharp increase from only 12 poliovirus victims in 2018.

Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by the poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death.

While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective way to protect children from the virus. Each time a child under the age of five is vaccinated, their protection against the virus is increased.

Repeated immunisations have protected millions of children from polio, allowing almost all countries in the world to become polio-free.

However, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world where the poliovirus continues to remain in circulation.

Lately, polio outbreaks have been reported in six other Asian countries which include China, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2020

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