Pakistan’s National Polio Laboratory in Islamabad has found Type 1 wild poliovirus (WPV1) in environmental samples collected from different cities. The presence of the virus was confirmed in samples collected from Bannu, Peshawar and Swat in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Lahore in Punjab.

Talking about it, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination said, “This is the seventh positive environmental sample from Bannu, third from Peshawar and Lahore each, and second from Swat this year.”

Earlier in August, Pakistan’s federal authorities confirmed the presence of the poliovirus in seven cities after samples were collected from various cities in the country.
Lahore and Islamabad were declared polio-free in April 2021.


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.