Afghan Poliovirus Detected in Environmental Samples in Peshawar!


by Omama Anwar

10 Best Activities



On Wednesday, officials from Pakistan's national polio eradication initiative revealed the detection of Type-1 Wild Poliovirus (WPV1) in an environmental (sewage) sample collected from Peshawar's Naray Khuwar area in July 2023. 

This marks the fourth consecutive detection of the virus from this specific collection site this year and the fifth positive sample from district Peshawar overall. 


The genetic analysis of the virus shows it is classified as the YB3A cluster and shares a 98.89 percent genetic link with the virus found in Behsud, Afghanistan, on January 24, 2023, indicating active cross-border transmission.

The discovery highlights the sixth instance of poliovirus importation from Afghanistan to Pakistan this year.

While the last wild poliovirus case in Peshawar was reported in July 2020, health authorities remain vigilant and have recently conducted a polio vaccination campaign (mop-up) in selected Union Councils to boost children's immunity.

To further mitigate risks, a fIPV+OPV vaccination campaign is planned for districts Peshawar and Khyber from August 7 to 13. 

Despite this recent detection, the total number of positive environmental samples in Pakistan in 2023 stands at 12, with only one reported human polio case thus far this year. 

Health authorities continue to work diligently to contain the spread of the virus and ensure population safety. 

Although there is no known cure for polio, vaccinations are the most effective way to protect children.


Millions of kids have been protected against this disease thanks to the polio vaccination, which has helped most of the world's nations become polio-free.

However, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two endemic nations where polio is still a problem.