3 more polio cases confirmed, victims up to 7


    THREE more cases of the dreaded polio virus were confirmed by the Department of Health yesterday, raising the alarming cases of the debilitating disease in the country to seven.

    Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the three latest confirmed cases, involving two girls and a boy, were in Mindanao.

    “The DOH confirms three more cases of poliovirus, all from Mindanao, bringing the total of new cases this year to seven,” Duque said. “It is unacceptable that more children are falling victim to this vaccine-preventable disease.”

    Duque said the samples from the three patients that were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan returned positive.

    He said the three new victims were admitted at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center. The first case, a 2-year-old girl from Maguindanao, had fever and suffered weakness in both legs. The second case, a 1-year-old boy from Cotabato City, also had fever, cough, and weakness in both legs. The third case, a 4-year-old girl from North Cotabato, suffered fever, weakness of the right leg, neck, and facial muscles.

    Duque said the first two were not vaccinated with the polio vaccine while the third received an incomplete dose.

    Last September, the DOH reported two confirmed cases of polio in the country, a 3-year-old girl from Lanao Del Sur and a 5-year-old boy from Laguna.

    Earlier this month, the health department also reported that a 4-year-old girl from Maguindanao and a 3-year-old girl from Sultan Kudarat were the third and fourth confirmed cases of polio in the country.

    The report of the three new polio cases came days before the DOH starts its second round of the synchronized oral polio vaccine campaign in the whole of Mindanao from November 25 to December 7.

    The National Capital Region will have its final round of the oral polio vaccine campaign also from November 25 to December 7.

    “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,” said Duque.

    The Manila City Government yesterday said the third round of its polio vaccination drive will begin next week in all barangays in the city in accordance with the DOH drive from November 25 to December 7.

    Manila Health Department chief Dr. Arnold Pangan said field personnel and volunteers will conduct vaccine drives in barangay halls and will also conduct a house-to-house drive.

    Manila Barangay Bureau chief Romeo Bagay has issued a memorandum requiring all barangay chiefs to intensify the drive against polio. – With Cyra Corral