(Bloomberg) – The Philippines has been reporting its first case of polio in nearly two decades, prompting health authorities to declare an epidemic and trigger mass immunization.
A three-year-old girl from the southern province of Lanao del Sur is the first confirmed case of polio in the Philippines since 2000, when the nation in Southeast Asia was declared infectious disease, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health on Thursday.
Poliovirus, which causes crippling and potentially fatal disease, has also been detected in water samples from Manila and Davao. A single confirmed case or two positive samples from different locations are considered to be an epidemic in a polio-free country, the health authority said.
The Government will launch a massive oral polio vaccination for children under 5 years from next month.
"In addition to immunization, we remind society to practice good hygiene," said Health Minister Francisco Duke, warning that polio
Last month, the nation of Southeast Asia declared a dengue epidemic after the deaths of hundreds of Waxi people mosquito-borne disease remains in force.  Read: Sanofi's Dengue Vaccine Prohibited in the Philippines amid Failures
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