I wish the news was better, but since last month, 2 new cases of the wild polio virus have been discovered in Afghanistan bringing the total to 3. Nevertheless, things are improving. No cases have yet to be reported in Pakistan. You may remember in 2017, we ended the year with 22 cases of wild polio virus in two countries (14 in Afghanistan and 8 in Pakistan). In 2016, we had 35 cases in three countries (12 in Afghanistan, 19 in Pakistan, and 4 in Nigeria.) Pakistan has been making great strides in our struggle to eradicate polio.
One of the interesting things about our End Polio Now efforts are the many details most Rotarians are not aware of. We get reports of cases, but there is more to it than that. WPV (wild polio virus) cases are children who have been identified as having the disease after having exhibited some signs of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP).  When we speak of surveillance, we are talking about a network of local and regional health centers to which parents bring kids who are having signs of paralysis.  99% of the AFP cases do not turn out to be polio.  The surveillance sites take stool samples which are sent to labs funded by the Polio Eradication Initiative - about 190 of them, globally. This is where they are examined for the presence of the polio virus. 
Another aspect of the program is the environmental sampling that goes on. In areas where polio cases occur, samples are taken from the soil and sewage for testing to see if there is evidence of the wild polio virus. For example, during this year there have been 15 positive environmental test results in Afghanistan. According to World Polio Plus Chair, Mike McGovern, "the continuing positive environmental samples are troubling and are our biggest worry at this time.  The program focuses on the areas of positive samples to further engage the community and to promote vaccinations." There have been extensive discussions in the last three months about the  need to do more in this area. Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair, Paul Netzel was in Pakistan recently stressing this point with government officials - our partners. The distressing thing is that even when we get to zero cases, if there are still positive environmental samples, we cannot claim that polio is eradicated.