By Mayen Jaymalin, October 29 2019; Philippine Star

Image Credit to Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines — A four-year-old girl from Datu Piang, Maguindanao has been confirmed as the third polio case in the country since the reemergence of the disease after 19 years.

“On Oct. 24, stool samples sent to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan tested positive for vaccine-derived poliovirus,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said yesterday.

Duque said the case was genetically linked to the first confirmed case in Morogong, Lanao del Sur.

He said the girl did not receive any dose of oral polio vaccine. Her case was initially reported as acute flaccid paralysis.

The girl was taken to the Cotabato Regional Medical Center on Sept. 26 due to  fever, diarrhea, vomiting and muscle pain.

Duque said the (Department of Health) DOH also took stool samples from another suspected case for testing and confirmation.

The DOH would mount a polio vaccination campaign in Datu Piang from Nov. 4 to 8 to prevent the spread of the infection.

Duque gave assurance on the sufficient supply of oral polio vaccine to cover at least 4,254 children in the town who are five years old and below.

DOH officials, representatives of the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund are meeting with local officials to discuss their response to the outbreak.

The DOH declared an outbreak of polio in the country last month after a three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur was confirmed to be infected with the virus. The second case  is a five-year-old boy from Laguna.