You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Polio Re-emerges in the Philippines After Nearly Two Decades

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 9/19/2019 Andreo Calonzo
a group of people looking at a phone: A health worker prepares vaccine. The City Health workers of Mandaluyong City conduct a house to house approach for a free vaccination, during the celebration of "Vaccination Month/c80f35f5-b1db-495c-81db-77e2710835fa/98d222d822585dc92618b420a2d1f9be" to fight against polio and measles. © Photographer: Pacific Press/LightRocket A health worker prepares vaccine. The City Health workers of Mandaluyong City conduct a house to house approach for a free vaccination, during the celebration of "Vaccination Month/c80f35f5-b1db-495c-81db-77e2710835fa/98d222d822585dc92618b420a2d1f9be" to fight against polio and measles.

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines has reported its first case of polio in almost two decades, prompting health authorities to declare an epidemic and mount a mass immunization drive.

A three-year-old girl from the southern province of Lanao del Sur was the first confirmed polio case in the Philippines since 2000, when the Southeast Asian nation was declared free from the infectious disease, the Department of Health said in a statement Thursday.

Poliovirus, which causes the crippling and potentially fatal disease, has also been detected in water samples from Manila and Davao. A single confirmed case or two positive samples from different locations is considered an epidemic in a polio-free country, the Health Department said.

The government will launch a mass oral polio vaccination drive for children under 5 years old starting next month.

“Aside from immunization, we remind the public to practice good hygiene,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque, warning that polio spreads rapidly either through direct contact or food and water contamination.

Last month, the Southeast Asian nation declared a dengue epidemic after hundreds of people died and as a ban on a vaccine against the mosquito-borne disease remains in effect.

Read: Sanofi’s Dengue Vaccine Banned in Philippines Amid Setbacks

To contact the reporter on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at acalonzo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at cyap19@bloomberg.net

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon