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Polio scare in J&K put officials on high heels

Sources in health department disclosed that a three-year old girl child has been found positive for AFP, reports Sanjay Khajuria.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2006 21:32 IST

An Acute Flaccid Paralysis positive (AFP +ve) case within the municipal limits of Jammu city has put not only the municipality but the health department also under scanner. Surprisingly this is the first ever case of AFP +ve reported in the last over a decade from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources in health department disclosed that a three-year old girl child has been found positive for AFP and thus chances of Poliovirus can't be ruled out, they added. Shockingly this case was confirmed when the state was looking towards national and WHO authorities to declare the state "Polio Free State' status.

The case has been identified as Gun barely, a three years old girl child born to Prem Kumar of Prem Nagar, Jammu just within the one Km radius of the walled city. Shell shocked health authorities are now just sitting their heads together and pondering about where the things have went wrong despite their over 90 per cent achievement claimed for Pulse Polio Campaign in the last few years.

Sources said the reports from National Institute of Communicable Diseases, New Delhi and Kasouli have confirmed the case as AFP +ve. Sources also said that teams from New Delhi are expected to reach to Jammu on Saturday. Adding to it, sources said that the central nodal authority will declare the polio case in Jammu on Friday late evening.

When contacted Dr Shahid Mougal said that it was an AFP case and department has taken cognisance in this regard. A team of health official comprising Dr VK Gupta Polio Surveillance Officer with World Health Organisation and Dr Sunil Kaila District Immunisation Officer has visited the area, he said.

To a question if area would be put under mopping operation under the supervision of WHO, Dr Mougal replied that it is not necessary as the
state is going to have National Pulse Polio Campaign on January 7 and the second phase on February 13, 2007. 'Henceforth there is no need to carry on mopping operation but we need to take extra precautions, he said.

Replying to another query, he said the girl has been fully immunised perhaps she is showing no neuro-physical imbalance but being AFP+ve. She and the other children falling in 0-5 year age group need extra care against Poliovirus. He said he has called municipal authorities to take extra precautions for maintaining cleanliness as personal hygiene and clean surrounding is a potent weapon against the 'Polio Virus'.

When contacted Dr VK Gupta Polio Surveillance Officer said it is an AFP+ve case though more investigative reports are awaited but we are taking the issue seriously. It is to mention that state has not witnessed any polio case for the last over a decade and if this is the first then it needs to restart from the beginning to fight against the Polio, the crippling disease.

Further till recent past that is 2005, the polio cases were reported from UP and Bihar as of the total 297 cases reported in India this year 279 were reported from UP and with 17 from Bihar and with one isolated case from Chandigarh.

First Published: Dec 29, 2006 21:32 IST