A strain of wild poliovirus has been detected in an environmental sample in Lahore, Razya Khan has reported for Express Tribune.

The Pakistan Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health said in a statement on Tuesday that the virus discovered in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Ravi had connections to a poliovirus discovered in Nangarhar, Afghanistan last November.


“While the isolation of the virus is a cause of concern, it is excellent to note that it was detected promptly. This timely detection of the virus in the environment is crucial to protecting children from being paralysed by the poliovirus,” said Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel.

Up to 44 million children would be immunised across Pakistan as a result of anti-polio campaigns in 2023.

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.