Suspected polio case being monitored in Region 12

COTABATO CITY — The Department of Health (DOH) – Region 12 is continuously monitoring the condition of a three-month-old baby boy here, who is suspected to have been infected by the crippling poliovirus.

Poliomyelitis, or infantile paralysis, also known as polio, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus.

“We are still waiting for the result of the stool specimen of the child that was sent to our DOH headquarters in Manila,” said Jenny Panizales-Ventura of DOH-12, referring to the child currently quarantined for almost a week at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) here.

Ventura said the child and his family reside in  Tamontaka district in this city. She said the child manifested paralysis in his right leg, prompting local health officials to confine the child at the CRMC.

“Again, this remains a suspected case. We have to wait for the result anytime this week from the DOH’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine-Surveillance and Response Unit in Manila,” she said.

The DOH-12 announcement came two days after an official of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) revealed a suspected polio case involving a seven-year-old child in Marogong, Lanao del Sur.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM’s minister of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government and concurrent regional spokesperson, clarified though that the child’s family resides in Manila and is only visiting relatives in Marogong town.

“We have yet to wait for confirmation about the child’s case from the DOH-Manila,” Sinarimbo said during Tuesday’s Kapihan sa BARMM here. He said it is quite alarming that poliovirus reemerged, 19 years after the country was declared as “polio-free”.

Meanwhile, DOH-12 has advised the public to maintain cleanliness in their surroundings and for their children to practice proper body hygiene to avoid contracting the polio disease.

“Have your child, particularly those aged five years and below, be administered and complete the three doses of the oral polio vaccine as this is for free at local health centers,” Ventura said.

She said that parents should be well aware of the polio prevention program as once the child is infected with the virus, “it is there and cannot be regressed.”   Noel Punzalan / PNA –