DOH confirms 2 more polio cases, total up to 16


    TWO more polio cases in the country, including one in Quezon City, were confirmed by the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday, with the total number of cases now up to 16.

    The latest cases involved a 3-year-old boy from Quezon City and a 2-year-old boy from Sultan Kudarat. They were confirmed to have polio virus by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).

    “This brings the total number of polio cases to 16 since the outbreak was declared in September 2019,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

    According to the DOH, the new cases suffered from fever, diarrhea, muscle pain, asymmetric ascending paralysis, and weakness of extremities.

    Last Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) reported there are now 14 polio cases in the country. The DOH confirmed just eight polio cases last year.

    The Philippines had been declared polio-free since October 2000.

    Due to the alarming increase in polio cases in the country, Duque reiterated his call to the public to participate in the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP) campaign of the DOH.

    “The outbreak must be put to a halt. And we can only do this if all our health facilities are achieving the targets for all AFP surveillance indicators, and if every SPKP round, all of the target population are reached and vaccinated,” he said.

    “We urge all parents and caregivers of children under five years old to take part in the coming SPKP campaign rounds scheduled in your respective areas. Have your children, including those with private physicians or pediatricians, vaccinated with oral polio vaccine by health workers and vaccinators,” added Duque.

    For Metro Manila, two additional rounds of vaccination are set on January 27 to February 7; and March 9 to March 20.

    For Mindanao, there will be one round to be conducted in Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga City, Isabela City, and Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat on January 6 to 12; and two additional rounds in the whole of Mindanao on February 17 to March 1; and March 23 to April 4.