CHO awaits results of suspected polio case PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 23 February 2012 14:15

Health authorities are seeking confirmation from duly accredited laboratories in Manila and abroad concerning a case of suspected acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) or polio.

City Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos said the suspected AFP case is a one-year-old child who belongs to a transient and highly mobile family. He said the child’s family is presently residing in Sta. Catalina.

Records show that the child’s parents- a 23 year old housewife and a labourer husband, went to Sabah, Malaysia in 2008. The child was born on April 24, 2010 in a Malaysian jail through normal delivery. 15 days after birth, the family was deported to the Philippines and since then the family had spent months transferring to various places in Basilan (Malamawi and Tipo-tipo) and Zamboanga (Talon-talon). The family transferred to Sta. Catalina in November 2011 and the house they live is shared with two other families.

Dr. Agbulos said based on initial laboratory tests and investigations conducted by city and regional health experts, the child is a case of acute flaccid paralysis versus nutrient deficiency, upper respiratory tract infection and malnutrition.

He said confirmation from laboratories in Manila is being awaited. From Manila, the results will be forwarded to Australia for final analysis.

As this developed, Dr. Agbulos said even as the final results are being awaited, the CHO will conduct mass immunization activities targeting the under 5 age group population. A minimum of 3 immunization rounds spaced 4-6 weeks apart achieving at least 95% coverage of barangay Sta. Catalina and if sufficient OPV vaccine is left, the immunization activities will include the neighboring barangays of Rio Hondo and Talon-talon.

The child and her siblings are under medication at present.

Meanwhile, Regional Health Director Dr. Aristides Tan has officially furnished Mayor Celso Lobregat a copy of the Epidemiologic Investigation report of
the AFP polio “hotcase” conducted from Feb. 14-15.

“We also would like to inform you that the World Health Organization (WHO) commends the CHO Staff for the immediate reporting and prompt response regarding this matter”, Dr. Tan informed the mayor.

In the health parlance, a “hotcase” is described as an AFP case that is 5 years old below with less than 3 doses of OPV and has fever at the onset of asymmetrical paralysis or a person of any case of any age whose stool specimen has poliovirus isolate.

In 2011, Region 9 reported 23 AFP suspect cases, 4% higher compared to last year. The last AFP hotcase was in 2006 from Zamboanga Sibugay.
The region’s OPV3 coverage foro 2011 is 60% (1st to 3rd quater). Zambonaga City has an OPV3 2011 coverage of 90.60%.

Basilan had an OPV3 coverage of 36% in 2011 and 42% in 2010. — Sheila Covarrubias