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.
The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that 11 patients are under investigation for suspected novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the 11 patients under investigation have a history of travel to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus.
Based on the DOH, two of the 11 patients are in Metro Manila, one in MIMAROPA, three in Western Visayas, one in Eastern Visayas, three in Central Visayas and one in Northern Mindanao.
Duque said all the patients under investigation are being closely monitored. He also reiterated that there are still zero confirmed nCoV cases in the Philippines.
“There shouldn’t be any cause for alarm. Just because we flashed the areas where the PUIs come from, it doesn’t mean those areas are infected with the novel coronavirus, because there’s none. We keep harping the fact that there is none—still zero as of today,” he said.
DOH Epidemiology Bureau officer-in-charge Chito Avelino said the five-year-old patient in Cebu has already been discharged, while the others are already in the process of being released.
The DOH also reminds the public to practice good hygiene to prevent the risk of infection from any virus.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – A 36-year-old male patient in Tacloban City is now under observation for potential signs of novel coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) revealed Friday (January 24).
The patient, who traveled from Wuhan, China, showed symptoms of nCov upon his arrival in the Philippines on January 17.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, however, clarified that it is still too early to conclude that the man is infected with novel coronavirus.
The DOH is keeping a list of all individuals from China who sought medical tests relative to the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
Among them is a two-year-old toddler from Aklan.
The DOH clarified, however, that the toddler showed symptoms not worse than an ordinary flu.
Meanwhile, the DOH said they are expecting the release of the confirmatory test on the patients’ blood samples by next week.
The samples are now being tested at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, including that of the 6-year-old Chinese boy in Cebu who was first to be observed for nCoV infection.
At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) is not yet considering the situation a global health emergency.
Also, the Philippines is still technically free of novel coronavirus pending the confirmatory tests from Australia.
Nonetheless, Health offices across the country remain on alert against possible entry of the nCoV given the Philippines’ proximity to China.
Authorities are warning the public to refrain from travelling to China and always wear masks especially airport personnel as they are the first to have contact with arriving passengers from other countries. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has yet to receive results of the test on a Chinese boy’s blood samples sent to Australia after he was confined for symptoms of the new strain of coronavirus that has killed at least 17 people in China.
Meantime, the DOH stressed that there is no positive case of the so-called 2019 novel coronavirus yet in the Philippines.
“Until now wala pa tayong confirmatory test (We don’t have confirmatory test until now),” said DOH Spokesperson Eric Domingo.
“The patient is still admitted and has recovered. The patient is having some mild cough but no fever and so far the patient is doing well. But we are not discharging the child,” he said of the Chinese boy.
His family, who arrived in Manila from Hong Kong, also does not show any symptoms of the viral infection.
“Wala silang sakit so wala namang (They are not sick so there is no) need for us to do any tests on them or to admit them or to hold them in isolation,” Domingo explained.
“The advice really is for them to continue keeping in touch with us and then we will be monitoring them,” he added.
Meanwhile, the flight attendant who offered herself to self-quarantine after experiencing flu-like symptoms upon arriving from Wuhan, China also tested negative of coronavirus.
According to the DOH, the recent cancellation of flights from Wuhan, China and the order to place the entire city on lockdown is helpful to secure the country from a potential entry of the virus.
Meanwhile, the DOH expressed support should the World Health Organization (WHO) declares global health emergency to curb the spread of the unknown virus.
Domingo also assured that the Department will remain on the frontline in case management and disease control in the Philippines should the international health body declares the outbreak of 2019-nCov a global pandemic.
“We have the infrastructure and we have the system ready. It’s really just a matter of activating it, ever since SARS we already have quick response system in place,” the official explained.
“In this case nagkakaroon lang din ng kaunting modification kasi (In this case we are doing some modifications because) from SARS to MERS- COV to the novel Coronavirus for 2019, they are not exactly all the same not even clinically like this one is apparently less infectious,” he added.
Amid the novel coronavirus scare, the DOH reiterates its appeal to the public to always monitor updates from authorized agencies such as the DOH and WHO, especially when it comes to declarations on the still unknown strain of coronavirus so as not to cause panic given that unverified information is easily spread on social media nowadays. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
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