DOH confirms three more cases of polio

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The Department of Health (DOH) today confirmed three (3) more cases of poliovirus, all from Mindanao, bringing the total of new cases this year to seven (7). Samples from the three (3) new cases that were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases - Japan came out positive for poliovirus.

All three (3) cases were admitted to the Cotabato Regional Medical Center. The first case is a two year-old female from Maguindanao who presented with fever and weakness in both legs. The second case is a one year-old male from Cotabato City with fever, cough, and weakness in both legs. The third case is a four year-old female from North Cotabato showing fever, weakness of the right leg, neck, and facial muscles.

The first two cases were unvaccinated with the polio vaccine, while the third received incomplete doses.

“It is unacceptable that more children are falling victim to this vaccine-preventable disease. We are more determined than ever to make sure that no child shall be missed during the next round of the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio in Metro Manila and Mindanao,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III declared.

“We should not be satisfied with our children receiving only 1 or 2 doses of the polio vaccine. Let us ensure that they receive the complete doses of the vaccine to fully protect them from Polio,” the Health Chief added.

The previous round of the Sabayang Patak in October reported a 96% coverage among children 0-59 months old from the 17 cities/municipality in NCR. Davao del Sur recorded a 92% coverage from its 10 city/municipalities while Lanao del Sur reported an 85% coverage from 40 city/municipalities.

“We are reiterating to all parents and caregivers to have their 0-59 months children immunized with the polio vaccine from November 25 to December 7,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III concluded.