Polio cases in Pakistan pass 2012 total

November 13, 2013

Polio is on the rise in Pakistan, health officials said Wednesday, as the number of infections in 2013 passed the total for the whole of 2012.

Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where the highly infectious disease which cripples limbs remains endemic.

Opposition from militant groups has hampered efforts to vaccinate children against polio in Pakistan and officials said violence was part of the reason for the increase in cases.

"Last year there were a total of 58 cases, but 62 fresh victims of polio have already been reported in 2013," a senior government official, who works with international donors working to eradicate polio, told AFP.

Six cases were in eastern Punjab province, four in Sindh in the south and nine in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but by far the bulk of the infections—43—were in the tribal areas along the Afghan border.

The Pakistani Taliban banned polio vaccinations in the tribal region of Waziristan last year, alleging the campaign was a cover for espionage.

"The main reason for the outbreak is militancy in the northwest. Vaccination teams are unable to reach the tribal areas because of risks to their lives," the official said.

Polio cases reached a low of 28 in 2005 but have risen since, reaching a peak of 198 in 2011.

In August warned of a serious in the northwest, saying more than 240,000 children had missed vaccination because of the Taliban ban.

Elsewhere in the country, health workers giving out polio drops have been attacked and killed, including in the largest city Karachi.

On Monday the World Health Organization linked an outbreak of in Syria that has paralysed 13 children to a strain of the virus from Pakistan.

Explore further: Pakistan warns of polio outbreak after fresh cases

Related Stories

Pakistan warns of polio outbreak after fresh cases

August 28, 2013
Health officials in Pakistan on Wednesday warned of a serious polio outbreak after the disease was detected in 16 children in a tribal district where militant groups have banned vaccination.

Second child contracts polio in Pakistan's Waziristan

May 23, 2013
A second child has contracted polio in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border after the Taliban banned vaccinations there nearly a year ago, a UN official said Thursday.

240,000 Pakistani children miss anti-polio drive (Update)

March 29, 2013
(AP)—Some 240,000 children have missed U.N.-backed vaccinations against polio because of security concerns in Pakistan's tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, a top official with the World Health Organization said Friday.

First polio case in Pakistan's Waziristan since Taliban ban

May 6, 2013
A child has contracted polio for the first time in Pakistan's militant-infested tribal belt since the Taliban banned vaccinations a year ago, a UN official said Monday.

UN launches polio vaccination campaign in Mideast

November 9, 2013
The United Nations says a massive campaign to vaccinate children in the Middle East against polio has begun after the first cases in 14 years were confirmed in northeastern Syria last week.

UN: 21 nations take up polio 'emergency'

November 13, 2013
Some 21 nations in the Middle East and nearby regions have jointly made the eradication of polio an emergency priority and recognized that Pakistan is a key part of the problem, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

Raccoon roundworm—a hidden human parasite?

July 24, 2017
The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites—most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.