A ONE-YEAR-OLD boy from Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija Saturday, February 15, became the 17th confirmed polio case in the country since the outbreak was declared in September 2019.
In a statement, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the case was detected through surveillance of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) cases in the communities done and reported by barangay health workers.
“The patient manifested with fever and sudden onset weakness of the left lower limb,” said the DOH.
It also reported that environmental samples collected from the Butuanon River in Cebu tested positive for the poliovirus as confirmed by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).
In response to the latest case and environmental presence of the virus, the DOH said it is closely coordinating with the World Health Organization for an appropriate vaccination response.
The DOH added that it is assisting the cities of Cabanatuan and Mandaue in strengthening their Acute Flaccid Paralysis surveillance capacities, including their identification and reporting mechanisms.
“It is important that we are able to timely detect any acute onset of paralysis in children - especially within our communities,” said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III in a statement.
“We have evidence that the poliovirus continues to spread. Our aim is to promptly diagnose and treat all possible polio cases,” he furthered.
To note, the next round of the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP) campaign of the DOH will run from February 17 to March 1 in all regions of Mindanao, and February 24 to March 8 in Metro Manila.
Prior to last year, the Philippines had been declared polio-free since October 2000. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)