The number of new wild poliovirus 1 (WPV1) cases reported in Pakistan continue to climb as 13 additional people were confirmed with the serious viral infection. According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), during the past week, 9 were from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) (2 from Frontier Region Bannu and 7 from Khyber Agency); 2 are from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (1 from Bunir and 1 from Mardan district); and 2 cases from Karachi’s Gadap district in Sindh province.
This brings the total number of WPV1 cases in 2014 to 187 compared to 39 in 2013 by this date.
The total cases reported globally now stands at 222 from both endemic and non-endemic countries.
Some good news out of the Middle East. It has been more than six months since a case of wild poliovirus was reported in Syria or Iraq. The GPEI says this is testimony to the dedication of local health workers and the significant efforts of many partners to reach all children with supplementary immunization activities. Over 22 million children have been vaccinated against polio multiple times in the past year, in the midst of active conflict and a humanitarian crisis.