As many as 49 new cases of polio have been detected in Bihar in the past seven months despite immunisation drives, a health department official said on Monday.
The new figures were revealed by a new polio status report released by the Indian National Polio Plus Committee Rotary International in Patna.
"Of the 236 cases reported in India this year, 181 cases were detected in Uttar Pradesh, 49 in Bihar, four in Delhi and one each in Rajasthan and Uttarakhand," said Anil Kumar Singh, a health official.
This spells bad news for the ongoing battle against polio in Bihar, which has been recording the second highest incidence of the disease in India for the last few year after neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
A Unicef official said that of the 49 polio cases, 16 are of the highly infectious polio strain virus P1 and the remaining are P3 strain cases.
"The detection of new P1 cases is a matter of serious concern," he added.
Bihar recorded over 300 new polio cases in 2008, one of the highest since the polio immunisation drive was launched in the state nearly a decade ago, an official had said.
The state recorded 61 polio cases in 2006 and 193 cases in 2007.