DOH monitors another child from Laguna for possible polio

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2019   •   1439

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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Laguna city turns Taal ashfall into bricks, to donate to eruption-hit residents

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of Biñan City in Laguna is turning Taal Volcano’s ashfall into bricks that can be used to build houses and other structures.

Since the Taal ashfall on Sunday, January 12, the city’s Eco-Center material recovery facility has been making these bricks from the sacks of ash they collected from around the city.

The ashfall is mixed with recycled plastics, cement, water and whitesand. The mixture is then transferred into brick molds.

“Tawag namin dito Taal bricks eh. Naano namin saan namin dadalahin ang mga abo na yun. Nung hinawakan namin mapino, mas mapino pa sa white sand,” Rodelio Dee, head of City Environment and Natural Resources Office, said.

“Normally, iisipin mo diyan panambak di ba? Pero dapat may mas idea pa dito. So, ginamit namin siya sa paggawa ng bricks,” he added.

Dee said each brick is estimated to cost around four pesos to five pesos.

“Nagkaroon kami ng malaking savings sa paggamit ng ashfall. Unang-una, instead of buying itong white sand na ginagamit namin sa normal operation namin, itong ashfall libre. Sa aming computation is 45 to 50 percent of the cost ang aming nasi-save,” he said.

According to Dee, the city’s material recovery facility is capable of producing around 5,000 to 7,000 bricks a day.

The facility is also open to accepting sacks of ashfall from other towns to be turned into useful bricks.

Biñan City Mayor Arman Dimaguila said the ashfall bricks they made will be donated to help in the recovery and rehabilitation of Batangas towns heavily affected by the Taal Volcano eruption

“Ang plano, mag-stock pile kami ng marami, iipunin namin sa isang lugar. Kapag nakarecover na, on its way to recovery ang mga nasalanta ng Taal, ibabalik natin sa kanila,” he said.

“Ido-donate natin sa kanila, halimbawa, papagawa ng eskwelahan. Sige, amin na ho ang hollowblocks, papagawa ng pathways… bilang tulong,” he added. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

Ash-covered fruits, veggies still safe to eat after thorough washing, DOH says

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) assured the public that fruits and vegetables covered with layers of ash from the Taal Volcano are still safe to eat after some thorough washing.

“’Yung gulay tsaka prutas na nalagyan ng abo basta hugasan lang ng mahusay ‘yun at linisin, puwede po kainin ‘yun,” Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said at a Palace press briefing on Wednesday.

He said even plants cultivated in farms affected by the ashfall brought about by the Taal Volcano eruption are also safe for consumption as long as these are thoroughly washed with water.

Ashfall from Taal volcano blanketed crops and livestock in surrounding areas since its eruption began on Sunday.

The Department of Agriculture earlier reported that damage to crops and livestock has reached more than P500 million.

Meanwhile, Domingo advised the public to be cautious and refrain from eating fish caught in Taal lake and other bodies of water affected by the Taal eruption as these may contain toxins that can have harmful effects on human health.

“Might as well be cautious because we know that toxic substances have been thrown out of the volcano and na-dissolve ‘yan sa tubig,” he said.

Taal Volcano spewed ash on Sunday that sent thousands of residents scrambling for safety.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has reiterated that no one should stay in the Taal Volcano island and other nearby areas susceptible to volcano tsunami, base surge, and ballistic projectiles as a result of the eruption.

Phivolcs said that Taal Volcano remains under alert level 4, which means that a hazardous eruption is possible within hours to days.

Confirmed polio cases in PH climb to 16 – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said it recorded four more confirmed cases of polio, bringing to 16 the total number of cases since the outbreak was declared in September 2019.

The DOH said two of the new cases were from Maguindanao – both males, two and three years old, as reported by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The third case is a two-year-old boy from Sultan Kudarat while the fourth case is a three-year-old boy from Quezon City.

The children were said to have manifested with fever, diarrhea, muscle pain, asymmetric ascending paralysis and weakness of extremities.

In light of this, the DOH reiterated its call for parents to have their children vaccinated against the disease through its Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP) campaign.

The department said the campaign’s succeeding rounds are scheduled from January 20 to February 2 in all regions of Mindanao, and from January 27 to February 7 in the National Capital Region.

“I urge all parents and caregivers of children under five years old to take part in the coming SPKP campaign rounds scheduled in your respective areas. Have your children, including those with private physicians or pediatricians, vaccinated with oral polio vaccine by health workers and bakunators,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

“Additional polio doses can provide additional protection to your children. There is no overdose with the oral polio vaccine,” he added.

In September 2019, 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.

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