Health secretary Francisco Duque III remindthe public to practice good personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly, usetoilets, drink safe water, and cook food thoroughly./PN While polio has no cure, it can be preventedthrough vaccination, stressed Dr. Renilyn Reyes, DOH Region 6 medical officer. Poliovirus was also detected in water samplesfrom sewage in Manila and waterways in Davao as part of the regularenvironmental surveillance. The first dose is given when the baby is atleast six weeks old; second dose when the baby at least 10 weeks old; and thirddose when the baby at least 14 weeks old. “Ang DOHnagapasalig nga ang ini nga bakuna safekag epektibo,” said Reyes. According to the DOH, one polio case wasconfirmed in a three-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur. Aside from the confirmedcase, a suspected case of acute flaccid paralysis is awaiting confirmation. DOH confirmed on Thursday the re-emergence ofpolio in the country, 19 years after the World Health Organization (WHO)declared the Philippines polio-free in 2000. The National Capital Region is one of theidentified regions with a high-risk of re-infection due to a number of factorsincluding low polio vaccination coverage coupled with poor surveillance ofpolio symptoms, ongoing practice of open defecation, and poor sanitarypractices in communities. ILOILO City – Though Western Visayas is notclassified a “high risk” area for the reemergence of the highly infectious viral disease poliomyelitis,the Department of Health (DOH) will be strengthening its routine immunizationprogram in the region. The samples were tested by the ResearchInstitute for Tropical Medicine and verified by the Japan National Institutefor Infectious Diseases and the United States Centers for the Disease Controland Prevention. Polio mainly affects young children. The virus is transmitted byperson-to-person spread mainly through the fecal-oral route or, lessfrequently, by a common vehicle (such as contaminated water or food) andmultiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system andcan cause paralysis. Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting,stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. DOH, in close coordination with localgovernment units and concerned national agencies, and with the support of WHO,the United Nations Children’s Fund and other partners, is preparing a rapidresponse to the polio outbreak. “The oral polio vaccine (OPV) is freelyadministered to babies in health centers.Ang ini nga bakuna indi masakit kay ginapatulo lang sa baba sang bata,” saidReyes. According to DOH, a single confirmed poliocase of vaccine-derived polio virus type 2 (VDPV2) or two positiveenvironmental samples that are genetically linked isolated in two differentlocations is already considered an epidemic in a polio-free country. In 2018, DOH identified 12 out of the 17regions in the country as high-risk areas for polio reemergence. This includes a series of synchronized oralpolio vaccinations to protect every child under the age of five years in theareas at risk beginning October 2019. DOH is also working with partners tostrengthen environment and acute flaccid paralysis (the sudden onset of muscleweakness or paralysis of the upper and lower extremities) surveillancethroughout the country to detect polio virus. For the routine immunization, Reyes said,three primary doses of polio vaccine are given to babies.