THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday confirmed the third case of polio in the country.
According to Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, the third confirmed case is a four-year old female from Datu Piang in the Province of Maguindanao who did not receive any dose of the oral polio vaccine (OPV).
The patient was initially reported as a case of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) last September 26 after seeking consultation at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center. She was suffering from fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle pain.
On October 24, stool samples sent to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases - Japan tested positive for vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (VDPV2).
The polio virus isolated was genetically linked to the VDPV2 from the confirmed Polio case in Morogong, Lanao del Sur.
Samples from another suspected case were also sent for testing, and the DOH is awaiting results and confirmation.
As part of its polio response, the DOH will be conducting a vaccination campaign in Datu Piang, Maguindanao. This is scheduled from November 4-8 and will vaccinate 4,254 children aged 0 to 59 months. Duque assured that stocks of OPV are sufficient.
The DOH, World Health Organization, and United Nations Children’s Fund are set to meet with local officials of Datu Piang on October 28 and 29 to discuss the outbreak response.
“I enjoin all parents and guardians, to ensure that all of your children are protected from all vaccine-preventable diseases,” Duque said.