A 10-month-old boy from North Waziristan’s Ghulam Khan Union Council passed away after testing positive for wild polio, reports The News.
According to the National Institute of Health, the 10-month-old boy experienced symptoms in his left arm and neck and paralysis on September 15.
This is the 17th case of poliovirus that has been reported from North Waziristan this year and 20th in Pakistan.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world where polio has not yet been eradicated. To formally eradicate the disease, a nation must be polio-free for three consecutive years. Nigeria was declared free from wild polio in August 2020.
However, polio has been rearing its head up in countries where the virus was eradicated decades ago. In June, a 20-year-old man in New York was afflicted with the virus, resulting in paralysis. The strain that affected him was the kind that is found in vaccines, and then behaves like a wild version of the virus. The man had not been vaccinated against the disease, however, more worryingly, he had not traveled internationally.
The same strain of the virus has been detected in sewer samples in Jerusalem. Israel has recorded its first polio case in 30 years. The United Kingdom too has found the same strain in London.
Polio is a potentially fatal disease that can cause paralysis if it spreads to the spinal cord. One in 10 polio fever afflicted patients die. The disease is more severe in children than it is in adults.
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