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First poliovirus victim after 19 years could hardly walk now

Special Correspondent .

THE three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur who tested positive for poliovirus is already experiencing the debilitating effects on both legs, hindering her movements, doctors said Tuesday.

Lanao del Sur provincial health officer Alinader Minalang said the girl now rarely goes out in Marogong town, Lanao del Sur.

“She is now experiencing muscle weakness in her two limbs, making walking painful,” Dr. Minalang said.

The girl and a five-year-old boy from Laguna, province have been tested positive for poliovirus prompting health authorities to announce that the highly infectious disease have reemerged in the country after 19 year of absence.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) also said the poliovirus was detected in water samples from a river in Davao City.

Dr. Minalang said the girl was unvaccinated for polio having stayed in Quiapo until she was one-year old.

He said the parents brought the girl back to their native town of Marugong where she spent two years until she complained of fever and weakness this June.

Minalang said a child should be given Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) when she or he is two months old; four months old, six to 18 months old; and four to six years old.

He said the child should get one dose of OPV at each of the following ages.

Minalang said the girl’s parents could not produce any documents that would show the child was given OPV doses.

He said presently, his office is coordinating with the Ministry of Health of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to find a neurologist to help the child.

Minalang said Lanao del Sur health personnel have also taken water samples from the river in Marogong town, a 4th class municipality in Lanao del Sur.

Poliovirus can be spread from person to person through infected fecal matter entering the mouth.

The Department of Health said it would conduct a massive polio vaccination for children five years old and younger in Marawi Cty and Lanao del Sur on Oct. 14.


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