Polio outbreak in Philippines first in 19 years

Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 3.21.37 PMFrom the World Health Organization

An outbreak of polio was declared today in the Philippines, the first such occurrence since the Pacific Ocean nation was declared polio free 19 years ago.

People in the Philippines, primarily children, now are at risk of death or lifelong paralysis because of this outbreak.

The Philippine Department of Health and partners are working together on a comprehensive outbreak response, including mass polio immunization rounds beginning in October. All children, regardless of whether they are covered by the mass immunization campaign or not, should be vaccinated according to the routine immunization schedule.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is supporting the Philippine government’s response. The GPEI is a public-private partnership led by national governments with five partners — the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. GPEI’s goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.


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