ISLAMABAD - National Institute of Health (NIH) has confirmed two new wild poliovirus (type-1) cases from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (North Waziristan Agency).

This brings the total number of polio cases to 43 in 2014 as compared to six in 2013, while the number of infected areas in the country remains seven as compared to six in 2013 for the same time period.

It is worth mentioning that 97.6 per cent (42 out of 43) polio cases this year have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA together, while 33 out of 43 cases are from North Waziristan Agency alone.

All polio cases reported from North and South Waziristan agencies in 2014 did not receive any dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV). Ashiq Ullah, son of Noor Badshah, is a 12-month-old child having onset of paralysis on March 14, 2014. The child is resident of Spalgai area of Miran Shah. Abuless, son of Allah Dar Khan, is an 11-month-old child having onset of paralysis on March 19, 2014. The child is resident of Saidgai area of Miran Shah.

According to Prime Minister's Polio Monitoring & Coordination Cell, no supplementary immunisation activities (SIAs) have been conducted in North and South Waziristan agencies since June 2012, leading to an ongoing explosive polio outbreak with 37 wild polio cases in 2013 and 33 so far in 2014. Moreover, North Waziristan Agency also reported 41 Sabin-2 like virus cases in 2013 and five in 2014.

Officials say the anticipated population displacement as a result of recent geopolitical developments enhances the risk of spread of poliovirus to neighbouring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and beyond.