DOH advises travelers to receive polio vaccine before leaving, entering PHL
Robie de Guzman • October 11, 2019 • 526
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is urging all travelers to get immunized against polio before leaving and entering the Philippines, following a declaration of an outbreak of polio in the country.
In an advisory, the DOH encouraged foreign nationals and returning Filipinos of all ages, who are intending to stay in the Philippines for four weeks and more to receive a single dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) not later than four weeks before their scheduled travel to the Philippines.
This is if the traveler has not received polio vaccination in the last 12 months.
Those embarking on an urgent travel within four weeks are urged to get a single dose of IPV at least by the time of departure as this will still “provide benefits, particularly for frequent travelers.”
The DOH also advised travelers leaving the Philippines to check the immunization requirements of the country they are going to, and if required, receive a dose of IPV before departure.
They are also encouraged to get their International Certificate of Vaccination from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to serve as proof of their vaccination.
The advisory came weeks after the Philippines declared a type 2 polio outbreak following confirmed cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus.
The first case was a three-year old girl from Lanao del Sur while the second case was a five-year old boy from Laguna. The DOH also said the presence of poliovirus was also detected in collected sewage water samples from Manila and Davao.
The disease re-emerged 19 years after the country was declared polio-free.
Polio is a highly infectious viral disease which spreads rapidly. It can cause paralysis and, on rare occasions, can be fatal.
The DOH said there is no cure for polio and it can only be prevented with multiple doses of polio vaccines that have long been proven safe and effective.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), polio mainly affects children under five years of age, and vaccination is their only and best protection against the highly infectious disease.
But if immunization activities are poorly conducted and too few children have received the required three doses of polio vaccine, the agency said this can leave them “susceptible to poliovirus, either from vaccine-derived or wild polioviruses.”
Although the risk of international spread of polio is low, the WHO said that the of transmission and recirculation of the Polio virus within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity.
The World Health Organization stated that the risk of international spread of Polio is low, however, the risk of transmission and recirculation of the Polio virus within the Philippines is high due to low population immunity.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to propose imposing additional taxes on salty food products in a bid to lower the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.
High consumption of salt is one of the causes of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and chronic respiratory illnesses. Excessive salt intake is also related to hypertension, kidney diseases and cardiovascular problems, according to the DOH.
DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted that the recommended salt intake per day for adult Filipinos is just under a teaspoon or around two grams.
“Ang cause ng hypertension sa atin, maliban sa paninigarilyo, ay pagkain ng maalat. Dapat po isang tao, 2 grams lang per day, tayo po ang konsyumo natin 11-15 grams per day, so tayo ay 4-5 times sa mga Filipino,” Domingo said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.
High sodium intake raises blood pressure that leads to stroke and heart diseases, the two biggest causes of death and disability worldwide, according to the WHO.
In the Philippines, the DOH reported that more than 170,000 individuals die each year from heart diseases, specifically hypertension.
To curb the high incidence of these diseases and to help encourage people to eat healthy foods, the DOH is pushing for the imposition of additional taxes on products with too much salt.
Domingo cited the experience of several countries that imposed tax on unhealthy food which forced companies to adjust their product formulation.
“And it has been found in many countries that when you tax products that are unhealthy, talagang nagde-decrease kasi ang intake and the companies reformulate yung kanilang product,” he said.
The government has implemented tax on sugary drinks as well as on tobacco products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
The USCDC in August issued an advisory, cautioning the public against the purchase and use of vaping ingredients from the street and to stop modifying either nicotine or cannabis e-cigarette in an effort to curb the reportedly rising cases of vaping-related sicknesses in 25 U.S. states.
“Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific constitutional symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss). Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks,” the advisory read.
The USCDC has recommended some steps for clinicians, including the reporting of cases of severe pulmonary disease of unclear etiology and history of e-cigarette use within the past 90 days, to help determine the cause of these sicknesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said the use of e-cigarettes should be regulated as there is no evidence proving they were a safer alternative to cigarettes, warning that it normalizes smoking and hooks young people. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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