CHO: No poliovirus cases recorded

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DAVAO CITY– Health and environment officials have confirmed the presence of poliovirus in city, but no cases have been recorded so far.

Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, City Health Officer, said the city has intensified the anti-polio program following the confirmed cases in Laguna and Lanao provinces.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) confirmed that water samples from Davao River turned positive of poliovirus.

“We’ve been checking the entire community if there are confirmed cases of poliovirus; so far there is none,” Villafuerte said, as she clarified that CHO immediately responded after learning of the result of the water sampling.

Villafuerte said the virus can be acquired through infected waterways and contaminated water bodies, such as swimming pools.

She said swimming in the Davao River is strongly being discouraged.

“We also gathered all the resort owners, barangay captains of coastal barangays and those near the river banks to inform them of how they can help in the prevention of the spread of the virus,” she said.

Although there is no reported polio case in the city, Villafuerte said that the public should remain vigilant and follow the preventive measures.

“There is no age limit when it comes to poliovirus; one should be vaccinated for him to be safe against the disease,” she said.

Villafuerte said the anti-polio vaccine can prevent the disease, which mainly affects children under 5 years of age.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health in Davao Region said it has started conducting regular environmental surveillance as a supplementary activity for polio surveillance.

DOH said it is coordinating with the local government units to strengthened surveillance for early detection of paralysis-like cases in the community.

DOH assured that all children under 5-years-old will receive the complete doses of immunization for poliovirus.

Polio is an infectious disease which spreads rapidly. It can cause paralysis, and on rare occasions, can be fatal. It can be spread when a food or drink contaminated with poliovirus is ingested.

“We reiterate to all parents and guardians to review the immunization status of their children and ensure that they are completely immunized. This is the only way to protect a child from the fatal poliovirus,” DOH said in a statement.

On the other hand, the Davao City Water District (DCWD) assured that its water sources are safe and far from the Davao River.

DCWD deputy spokesperson Jovana Cresa Duhaylungsod said they sourced their water supply from the rivers of Talomo, Dumoy, and Tugbok. These sources are far from Davao River, which tested positive of the poliovirus.

Duhaylungsod said their distribution pipes and production wells are sealed and safe.

She is urging consumers to immediately report incidents of leaking pipe in order to immediately address contamination.(Newsline)

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