A three-month-old minor has been paralysed by poliovirus in North Waziristan – the 18th case reported in the country this year.
The child suffering from the disability had the onset of paralysis on August 25, the Pakistan National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health has confirmed.
Besides two cases from Lakki Marwat, all cases this year have been from North Waziristan.
Last week, a positive environmental sample for poliovirus was detected from Karachi, in addition to four others from Bannu, Peshawar, Swat and Lahore.
Karachi, home to communities from across Pakistan, is historic polio ‘reservoir’ and remains among areas categorised by the programme at high risk of wild poliovirus transmission.
The humanitarian crisis in the wake of the unprecedented floods will pose graver challenges to Karachi and other areas of Pakistan in the foreseeable future, as millions of people are displaced and move to urban centres for refuge.
The large-scale movement of people, in addition to the high transmission season for the poliovirus, escalates the risk of poliovirus spreading.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by poliovirus mainly affecting children under the age of five years. It invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death.