As of 5:43 pm, the Philippines’ Department of Health has confirmed the 2nd polio case in the country. Reportedly, the virus reappeared for nearly 19 years after the country was announced to be free from polio.
As stated by DOH, the extremely contagious disease was contracted by a boy, five years of age hailing from Laguna. This was the second case inasmuch as the first one in Lanao del Sur wherein a girl, three years of age was likewise positive for Type 2 polio.
A statement from the Department of Health reported the boy as “immunocompromised,” which means his immune system is weakened and he has various pediatric complications.
Accordingly, DOH is yet to confirm if the boy had a mandatory polio vaccine when he was an infant or not.
Reportedly, the patient had the onset of paralysis last August 25 and has yet been discharged from the hospital but is still monitored for other symptoms.
Polio has no cure but one can prevent it through immunization as an infant. According to the World Health Organization, a child has immunity for life if he has been vaccinated multiple times.
According to the Department of Health, the Philippines’ coverage for national polio vaccination is from 66 to 68%, which is below the target level of 95%.
Reportedly, Department of Health supported by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund is arranging a quick response to the outbreak which includes various synchronized oral polio vaccinations.
Reports of environmental samples positive of vaccine-derived poliovirus were said to be found in Manila and Davao.
The Philippines was certified polio-free since year 2000 by the World Health Organization. The last case was reported in 1993.
The National Capital Region, Lanao del Sur and Davao will be focusing on a polio vaccination campaign by October and Central Luzon and Calabarzon’s turn will be in November.