Philippines gets 17th polio case
This developed as water samples from Butuanon River in Cebu tested positive for polio virus. Lising
Philippines gets 17th polio case
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - February 16, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A one-year-old boy from Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija was found to have contracted polio, bringing to 17 the total number of polio cases in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) reported yesterday.

This developed as water samples from Butuanon River in Cebu tested positive for polio virus.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said the patient manifested fever and sudden weakness in his left lower limb.  

The boy was detected to have polio following a surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) among residents in his province’s communities.  

“It is important that we are being able to detect any acute onset of paralysis in children, especially within communities. We have evidence that the poliovirus continues to spread,” Duque said, citing the DOH’s goal to “promptly diagnose and treat all possible polio cases.”

The Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention describes the AFP as a “rare but serrious condition that affects the nervous system, especially in the area of the spinal cord called gray matter.”

In its website, the center shows the weakening of the muscles and reflexes as the virus attacks the body.

In Cebu, the DOH reported that environmental samples collected from Butuanon River tested positive for poliovirus.

Duque said the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine confirmed the presence of poliovirus after several tests were conducted on the river’s water.

The DOH is now assisting Nueva Ecija and Cebu in strengthening their AFP surveillance capacities, particularly their identification and reporting mechanisms, Duque said.

The department is scheduled to do another round of Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP) campaign in the National Capital Region and all regions of Mindanao. 

The SPKP in Mindanao will run from Feb. 17 to March 1 while in Metro Manila, it will be from  Feb. 24 to March 8.   

In September, the DOH reported that polio re-emerged after the county had been  declared free from the virus for 19 years.

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