Photo from the Department of Health Facebook page shows a health worker administering oral polio vaccine.
Department of Health
Cebu river samples test positive for poliovirus — DOH
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - February 16, 2020 - 1:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — According to the Department of Health in a statement on Saturday night, the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine confirmed that samples from Butuanon River in Mandaue City, Cebu tested positive for poliovirus. 

Polio's outbreak was declared in the Philippines in September 2019, the first recorded case in decades. 

There is no known cure for the highly infectious virus, which can cause paralysis and even death in extreme cases.

The last documented case in the Philippines was in 1993. 

Health officials said they are closely coordinating with the World Health Organization for an appropriate vaccination response, as well as working with the Cabanatuan and Mandaue local government units to bolster their surveillance capacities and identification and reporting mechanisms. 

“It is important that we are able to timely detect any acute onset of paralysis in children —  especially within our communities,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in the statement.

“We have evidence that the poliovirus continues to spread. Our aim is to promptly diagnose and treat all possible polio cases."

That same day, the department confirmed the 17th case of polio in the Philippines in a one-year-old boy from Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

“The #polio outbreak in the Philippines is not over,” the World Health Organization Philippines said after the news broke. 

“We continue to remind parents and caregivers to bring their children to health centers for their polio drops and shot as part of the routine immunization programme."

READ: Healthcare 'grossly neglected' in 'middle-income' Philippines, groups say

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH NOVEL CORONAVIRUS POLIOVIRUS
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