The Research Institute of Tropical Medicine has confirmed that the environmental samples from Butuanon River in Mandaue City, Cebu, have tested positive for poliovirus, according to the Health department.
In a statement on Saturday, the department said it is closely coordinating with the World Health Organization for an appropriate vaccination response.
The department is also assisting the cities of Cabanatuan and Mandaue to improve their Acute Flaccid Paralysis surveillance capacities, including their identification and reporting mechanisms.
“It is important that we are able to timely detect any acute onset of paralysis in children-especially within our communities, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in the statement.
“We have evidence that the poliovirus continues to spread. Our aim is to promptly diagnose and treat all possible polio cases.”
On Saturday, the department confirmed the 17th polio case in the country: a one-year-old boy from Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija.
The department’s campaign Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio in the National Capital Region and all regions of Mindanao continues.
The campaign will run from Feb. 17 to March 1 in all the regions of Mindanao and Feb. 24 to March 8 in Metro Manila.