AFTER the Department of Health declared a polio outbreak late last month, the city government of Cagayan de Oro under the administration of Mayor Oscar Moreno is now preparing the creation of a task force on Polio prevention headed by the City Health Office.
Dr. Lorraine J. Nery, acting City Heath Officer, said different stakeholders and the communities as well will be included in the task force as their involvement and cooperation is needed in preventing the spread of polio virus.
Nery added, among the activities to be implemented by DOH will be the simultaneous Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio which is scheduled on Nov. 25 to Dec. 7 in Cagayan de Oro and other regions in Mindanao.
The Philippines was declared polio free in year 2000 by Unicef-WHO until the reintroduction of polio by WHO in 2017 after their high risk assessment of the virus.
Unicef-WHO also noted an estimated 66 percent polio vaccination of 3 doses of bivalent oral polio vaccine in 2018 compared to recommended 95 percent and only 23 percent for inactivated polio virus vaccine in 2019.
While there is no cure for polio, it can be prevented by immunization.
Polio is an acute contagious viral illness caused by the polio virus. It affects the muscles and nerves throughout the body and may cause permanent paralysis or even lead to death.
In areas with poor sanitation, the virus easily spreads from feces into the water supply, or, by touch, into food.
In addition, because polio is so contagious, direct contact with a person infected with the virus can cause polio.
Symptoms include fever, sore throat, headache, vomiting, fatigue, back pain or stiffness, neck pain or stiffness and pain or stiffness in the arms and legs.
The City Health Office is urging parents with children aged 0-5 years old to bring their children to the nearest health centers for oral polio vaccine and injected by Inactivated Polio Vaccine. (Abigail C. Malalis for CIO)