Philippines Confirms Fourth Polio Case Since Outbreak In Sept

MANILA, Nov 6 (NNN-PNA) – The Philippines Department of Health (DOH), confirmed a fourth polio case in the country, saying that another child has tested positive for the disease in the southern Philippines.

Health Secretary, Francisco Duque, said in a statement that, the fourth case was recorded in Mindanao in the southern Philippines, after tests by international medical organisations yielded positive results.

On Sept 19, the Philippines declared a polio outbreak after the infectious disease reappeared 19 years after the country was declared polio-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2000.

The first confirmed case of the Type 2 polio – a 3-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur province in the southern Philippines – prompted authorities to declare a nationwide polio outbreak in Sept.

The second and third confirmed cases were a 5-year-old boy from Laguna and a 4-year-old girl from Maguinadano province, also in southern Philippines.

The DOH and partners are working together on a comprehensive outbreak response, including mass polio immunisation rounds from Oct.

An average of 95.58 percent coverage of children 0 to 59 months were vaccinated as of Oct 31.

Duque said, the new round of polio vaccinations will cover the whole of Mindanao and is scheduled this month until Dec.

“We can defeat polio, but we need the public to trust and actively participate in our immunisation programmes,” Duque said.

Duque said that, polio is best prevented through vaccination. Proper hygiene, like hand washing, will also help in the prevention, he added.– NNN-PNA