A 1 year old boy from Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija was diagnosed with Polio and this brings the number of polio cases in the country to 17. The DOH confirmed in a statement saying that “The patient manifested with fever and sudden onset weakness of the left lower limb.” The DOH added that health workers detected the virus through a surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis cases.
On the other hand, the samples collected by the Department of Health from Butuanon River in Cebu was tested and confirmed by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine to be positive of the polio virus.
Polio is a contagious viral illness that can cause nerve injury leading to paralysis, difficulty in breathing and even death. Oftentimes, people infected with polio do not display any symptoms and are not aware that they have been infected with the virus.
There is no known cure for this virus but it can be prevented by multiple doses of vaccines according to WHO(World Health Organization). Health officials said they are coordinating with the World Health organization for an appropriate vaccination response.
“It is important that we are able to timely detect any acute onset of paralysis in children, especially within our communities. We have evidence that the poliovirus continues to spread. Our aim is to promptly diagnose and treat all possible polio cases,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
“DOH is assisting the cities of Cabanatuan and Mandaue in strengthening their acute flaccid paralysis surveillance capacities, including their identification and reporting mechanisms,” he said.
The DOH will extend its Polio Campaign until April 2020. They have a scheduled vaccination on February 17 – March 1 in all regions of Mindanao and February 24 – March 8 in Metro Manila as part of their Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP) campaign.
The first polio outbreak was declared in the country last September 2019. According to DOH, WHO declared that the country was polio-free since year 2000 along with the other members of the Western Pacific Region. Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the only countries in which polio has not been successfully stopped.