“What is its source? That’s not clear at the moment. It is clear that it stems from a type 2-containing vaccine,” he said.

He went on: “But it takes upwards of 8 weeks or more to fully confirm circulation of a poliovirus, due to lag times within the laboratory system. So this is what has now been fully received this week.”

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where the wild polio virus remains. Pakistan had only 12 cases in 2018, but has already seen 80 so far in 2019.

The WHO said the wild type 1 poliovirus in Pakistan “is the comparatively more virulent strain and is more geographically widespread and therefore represents the greatest risk to the children of Pakistan. 

“Therefore, the priority remains to continue to intensify efforts to eradicate WPV1 as urgently as possible, while continuing to protect children against other strains of poliovirus.” 

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