Pakistan Polio Cases Are At 14-Year High
The number of polio cases in Pakistan has plunged to its highest level in 14 years after attacks on immunization teams led to a surge in incidences of the disease, according to health authorities.
"We have recorded 15 fresh cases of polio in last two days, the number of polio cases has reached 202 for this year," a senior official at the Pakistan National Institute of Health in Islamabad told AFP on Friday, adding that the annual tally had surpassed the previous record of 199 cases in 2000.
The figures were later confirmed by a WHO official in Islamabad.
Saira Afzal Tarar, Pakistan deputy minister for health, said the fresh cases came from the areas where "polio teams received threats," according to the press release.
"All these cases were recorded in the areas where we have security problems," Tarar told Pakistan's private TV channel 'Express News'.
Tarar said the polio "virus is active in the same areas where polio teams had difficulties". She urged the local authorities to launch a comprehensive campaign and to reach and vaccinate all those children who had missed previous inoculation.