(CTN News) – According to the Ministry of Health, Pakistan reported another wild poliovirus case in North Waziristan district this year, bringing this year’s total to 14.
A further child was paralyzed by the virus in North Waziristan, bringing the district’s total to 13, while Lakki Marwat was the only case outside the area.
The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination reported that all 14 cases involved children under the age of two.
Over 99% of the world is now polio-free as a result of successful polio campaigns around the globe. However, only Pakistan and Afghanistan remain polio-endemic – and both have reported 15 cases, with one in war-torn Afghanistan.
Afghan and Pakistani National Emergency Operations Centers are continuing cross-border coordination efforts, according to the health ministry.
“The countries have coordinated two polio campaigns in May and June and are vaccinating children under 10 at all major transit points, as well as all ages at the borders,” the announcement said.
What is poliovirus?
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by the poliovirus that mostly affects children under the age of five. It can cause paralysis or even death when it invades the nervous system.
Polio cannot be cured, but vaccination is the most effective way to prevent it. Vaccination increases a child’s protection against the virus under the age of five.
Vaccinations have prevented millions of children from contracting polio, allowing almost all countries in the world, except Pakistan and Afghanistan, to become polio-free.
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