DOH: Local polio cases rise to 17, as 1-year-old boy confirmed with virus

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 15 2020 05:52 PM

MANILA—The Department of Health confirmed on Saturday that a 1-year-old boy from Cabanatuan city, Nueva Ecija was diagnosed with polio, raising the number of domestic cases to 17.

"The patient manifested with fever and sudden onset weakness of the left lower limb," the DOH said in a statement, adding the virus was detected through a surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis cases by health workers.

The DOH added that samples collected from the Butuanon River in Cebu tested positive for the poliovirus, which was confirmed by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine.

“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.

The department said it will be coordinating with the World Health Organization (WHO) for an appropriate vaccination response.

"DOH is assisting the cities of Cabanatuan and Mandaue in strengthening their acute flaccid paralysis surveillance capacities, including their identification and reporting mechanisms," it said.

This comes nearly a month after Metro Manila recorded its first polio case.

The DOH confirmed the re-emergence of polio in the country last September, 19 years after the World Health Organization declared the country free from the disease. — With reports from Raphael Bosano and Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News