Health dept. confirms third polio case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 28) — The Health department has confirmed the third polio case in the country after the communicable disease reappeared in nearly two decades.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the third confirmed case is a four-year-old girl from Datu Piang town in Maguindanao province who had no oral polio vaccine.

Stool samples sent to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan showed that the girl was positive for vaccine-derived polio virus 2. This virus has been genetically linked to the same virus in the first polio case in 19 years, the Health department said.

The girl was initially reported as a case of acute flaccid paralysis in October with bouts of fever, diarrhea, vomiting and muscle pain.

The Health department said it is awaiting lab results of samples from another suspected polio case.

The agency said it will conduct a vaccination campaign in Datu Piang on November 4 to 8 for more than 4,250 children aged zero to 59 months.

The first two polio cases in the country were a three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur and a five-year-old boy from Laguna.

Health officials have declared a polio outbreak in the country following the resurgence of the disease. They have also advised travelers going in and out of the Philippines to get vaccinated against polio.

Health research reveals there is no cure for polio, which causes nerve injury leading to possible paralysis. A disease which can be fatal on rare occasions, polio can only be prevented through multiple doses of vaccines.