Three more children below the age of five were confirmed to have polio in the Philippines, bringing to seven the number of cases of the highly contagious disease, health officials said on Wednesday.
The three children, aged one, two and four years old, were all admitted at the Cotabato Regional Medical Centre in the southern region of Mindanao, said Health Undersecretary, Eric Domingo.
Domingo said authorities were looking at the water supply as being the possible source of infection for the recent cases.
According to the Department of Health, the three new patients suffered from fever, cough and weakness of the legs, neck and facial muscles.
“It is unacceptable that more children are falling victim to this vaccine-preventable disease,’’ Health Secretary, Francisco Duque, said in the statement.
“We are more determined than ever to make sure that no child shall be missed during the next round of vaccination in Manila and Mindanao.’’
The Philippines was declared free of polio 19 years ago but on Sept. 19, the government announced that a three-year-old girl from the southern province of Lanao del Sur was found to have the disease that causes paralysis.
Since then, the department has been conducting a vaccination campaign, targeting all children below five years of age in Manila and Mindanao.
Duque urged parents to ensure that their children receive the complete dose of polio vaccines or four shots.
“We should not be satisfied with our children receiving only one or two doses of the polio vaccine,’’ he said.
“Let us ensure that they receive the complete doses of the vaccine to fully protect them from polio.’’
Edited by Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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