PESHAWAR: Another polio case surfaced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Wednesday, taking toll to nine in current year.

According to health department, polio virus has been diagnosed in Adbul Wahid’s nine-month-old daughter Sadia in Kohistan’s Dassu area. The total number of polio patients in the country has escalated to 17 in which nine people are from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), two from FATA, five from Sindh while one case was reported in Balochistan.

Sources told that six cases were surfaced in Bannu, two in Kohistan while Nowshera, Hangu, Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan have one, one each. Polio is a highly infectious disease that invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis in a matter of hours.

A $5.5 billion global eradication plan was launched in April with the aim of vaccinating 250 million children multiple times each year to stop the virus finding new footholds, and stepping up surveillance in more than 70 countries. It is now endemic in only two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s polio cases are declining, with just 54 cases of polio virus reported last year, down more than 80 percent from 2014, when the country suffered a large spike in cases. Efforts to eliminate polio in Pakistan have been complicated in recent years, as polio workers have faced attacks by militants who say the health teams are Western spies, or that the vaccines they administer are intended to sterilise children.

In January, a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people outside a polio eradication centre in the restive western city of Quetta, with two militant groups claiming responsibility.