MANILA (UPDATE) - A 5-year-old boy in Laguna province has contracted polio, marking the 2nd case of the virus 19 years after the Philippines was declared polio-free.
The health department said the boy was "immunocompromised" or had an impaired immune system, and was suffering from multiple pediatric diseases when he caught the virus.
The boy is able to walk despite experiencing an onset of paralysis last August 25, said the Department of Health (DOH).
It said the boy has been discharged from the hospital and was being monitored for residual symptoms.
“We continue to urge parents and caregivers of children below five years old, health workers, and local chief executives to take part in the synchronized polio vaccination to be scheduled in their communities,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III appealed, saying this is the only way to stop the spread of the contagious virus.
“We are also reiterating our advisory to the public to practice good personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly, to use toilets, drink safe water, and to cook food thoroughly,” he added.
DOH earlier said the first polio case was a 3-year-old girl in Lanao del Sur. The virus has also been detected in water sewage samples in Manila and Davao.
- Report from Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News