The poliovirus has been found in two sewage samples collected from Peshawar district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The Pakistan Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health confirmed that it is the Afghan strain of the wild poliovirus type 1, genetically linked to the virus cluster in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where the virus is still endemic. Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel stated that both countries are united in their fight against polio and will continue to hunt and eliminate the virus wherever they find it. Dr Shahzad Baig, Coordinator of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for Polio Eradication, said that monthly environmental sampling from 114 sites in 80 districts is conducted in Pakistan to test for WPV1. The presence of the virus in the environment during the high-travel season of Eid is a cause for concern but not unexpected. Parents in both countries must ensure that their children under five receive the life-saving polio drops in all campaigns.

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By hassani

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