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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Philippines is Now One of The Only 4 Countries Who Hold "Polio" Transmissions Today

Polio, Philippines

After 19 years of being  polio-free, Philippines has recently declared national polio outbreak, after it was confirmed that the bringing of the total number of people to two died afflicted with the disease.

The Philippines in behalf of the World Health Organization had announced on the year 2000, that the nation is completely polio-free, however, this September 2019 the polio disease has reemerged.

Polio is a highly contagious and potentially deadly diseases that caused the death of many people most especially children.

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in a news conference confirmed the case of polio in a 3-year-old girl in Southern Lanao del Sur, he also said that they detected polio virus in sewage in Manila and some waterways in Southern Davao areas.

The findings are enough to declare the outbreak of the disease in the country that was supposed to be a polio-free country.

WHO and UNICEF expressed deep concern over the reemergence of polio in the Philippines, they promise that they would support the government on fighting the outbreak by immunizing children, who are the main target of the virus.

In their a joint statement, they said that polio outbreak in the Philippines is concerning because it is caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2. 

"As long as one single child remains infected, children across the country and even beyond are at risk of contracting polio," Oyun Dendevnorov of UNICEF Philippines said.

Polio is known to be an incurable disease, however, it can be prevented through vaccination.

As of the moment, there are only 4 countries who have active records of polio virus transmission: Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and recently the Philippines.

Secretary Duque said that the DOH will launch a mass vaccination campaign for children under 5 years old starting in the affected areas to ensure the safety of everyone.

As we look back, the 2019 immunization drive of the government had been marred after the dengvaxia controversy on 2018, that more than 830,000 were vaccinated, and had recorded 146 deaths and 3,281 being hospitalized aftermath.

Duque and other Philippine health officials said that they are working to restore public trust in vaccines since then.

"At least 95% of children under age 5 need to be vaccinated to halt the spread of polio in the Philippines," WHO and UNICEF said.

Image Credit: The Philippine Star

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