DOH monitors another child from Laguna for possible polio

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2019   •   1090

MANILA, Philippines – A six-year-old boy from Barangay Parian in Calamba, Laguna is now being monitored after showing symptoms of polio.

According to the Department of Health (DOH) Region 4A Director Eduardo Janairo, the boy also manifests difficulty walking.

“Ang problema doon, hindi siya nabigyan ng kahit anung polio vaccine kaya medyo suspected talaga at delikado siya, (The problem is that, he never received any polio vaccine so he is highly at risk), Janairo said.

The boy’s fecal sample has already been sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for tests.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), poliomyelitis or polio is a highly infectious infantile paralysis caused by poliovirus. It causes muscle weakness and inability to move. In some cases, polio may lead to breathing difficulty and death.

Poliovirus can spread through fecal to oral transmission or when the stool of an infected person is introduced into the mouth of another person through contaminated water or food.

Oral to oral transmission, meanwhile, is through an infected person’s saliva.

“Napakaimportante ng cleanliness, nang paghuhugas ng kamay pagkatapos mag-CR, (Cleanliness is very important like proper washing of the hands every after defecating),” Janairo advised.

“Ang mga bata kailangan lagi naghuhugas ng kamay pagkatapos maglaro at kung maari iyong kuko, iyong mga putik sa kuko, maaaring may polio virus iyon na kapag nakain ng bata, magkakaroon din siya, (Children should practice hand washing every after outdoor activities. The dirt or mud in their nails must be cleaned because they might have polio virus. Once they ingest that, they can be infected),” the official said.

Polio symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs which can lead to permanent paralysis.

At present, there is no cure for polio but it can be prevented through immunization.

Meanwhile, they boy from Laguna who earlier tested positive for poliovirus is now confined at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City. – MNP (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

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DOH warns public against unregistered medical devices in online shops

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 4, 2019

The Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public against unregistered medical devices that are being sold in online shops.

This includes wound dressing and gauze without a certificate of product registration (CPR) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

DOH Health Regulation Team Assistant Secretary Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande has advised that the public should verify they are buying from a legitimate medical supplier or pharmacy when buying medical supplies, devices, and medicines.

Grande also said that pharmacies should also get a license for online ordering.

“Pharmacies should get license for online ordering so people can order medicines from them online [but] it’s for pick-up and not for delivery,” she said.

The FDA already released an advisory to the public to refrain from buying unregistered medical devices online.

“Pursuant to the Republic Act No. 9711, otherwise known as the “Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009”, the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, non-consumer use, promotion, advertising or sponsorship of health products without the proper authorization is prohibited,” the advisory reads.

The FDA assures violators will face regulatory actions and sanctions.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Poliovirus detected in 26 of 142 tested environmental samples – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday confirmed that 26 of the 142 environmental samples sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases have tested positive for poliovirus types 1 or 2.

In a statement, the DOH said the samples were collected from Davao City and National Capital Region from July 1 to November 6.

The 142 samples were taken from sewage treatment plants and bodies of water from areas without treatment plants in 39 sites in in National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Davao, Central Mindanao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and Central Visayas.

“The presence of the poliovirus in environmental samples implies that carriers of the virus are continuously shedding in the communities,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque was quoted as saying in the statement.

“If viruses continue to spread from person-to-person in areas with low immunization coverage, the polio virus evolves and regains the ability to cause paralysis,” he added.

With this development, Duque renewed his call on parents and caregivers to have their children below five years old be immunized against polio.

“This is why it is of utmost importance that we vaccinate all children below 5 years old (0-59 months), regardless of their vaccination status,” he said.

Duque earlier urged the public to complete the set of polio vaccinations, which includes three doses of oral polio vaccine and one injected dose of inactivated polio vaccine.

In September, the DOH confirmed the reemergence of poliovirus in the country 19 years after it was declared polio-free by the World Health Organization.

Since then, eight cases of polio have been confirmed this year.

The department said it is currently conducting “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio” campaign in Metro Manila and in Mindanao, which will run from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7.

Aside from health workers going from house-to-house to administer oral polio vaccine, fixed vaccination posts will also be set-up in communities, the DOH added.

DOH confirms another polio case in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it has recorded another case of polio in the country.

The DOH said the new case is from Mindanao – a nine-year old girl from Basilan who has not received any vaccine for polio.

The department said samples from the girl were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan. Results of the test came out positive for poliovirus.

The confirmation of the new case brings the total number of confirmed polio cases this year to eight.

Last week, the DOH confirmed three cases of polio in children under five years old from Mindanao.

In September, the department confirmed the re-emergence of the disease in the Philippines 19 years after it was declared polio-free by the World Health Organization.

The DOH said it is currently coordinating with the Ministry of Health of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to maximize the immunization coverage and intensify polio vaccination efforts in Basilan.

Health workers are also set to go house-to-house to ensure that all children under five years of age are vaccinated. Health centers, government hospitals, fixed vaccination posts in barangays malls, terminals, and fast food chains, among others, will also be providing vaccination.

DOH likewise reminded parents and caregivers to participate in the next round vaccination against polio from November 25 to December 7 in the National Capital Region and the whole of Mindanao.

All children under five years of age, regardless of immunization status, will receive a dose of the oral polio vaccine during the campaign.

“I urge all parents and caregivers of children under five years old to take part in the Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio campaign and have their children vaccinated by our health workers,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

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