Latest: Health Ministry confirms 2 more cases of polio in Sabah

Health officials led by State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon administer the polio vaccination at an event held in Tuaran recently. Photos taken by The Star (left) and The Borneo Post (right)
Two more confirmed cases of polio as at 10 January 2020

In an
official statement released by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) today (Jan 10), the ministry confirmed another 2 cases of polio in Sabah. 

The two cases involve an 11-year-old boy from Kinabatangan and an 8-year-old boy living in Sandakan, respectively. Both children have never received any sort of vaccinations prior to the polio infection.

The statement further states that both children have received intensive care. For the older child, he is now able to walk with a cane. However, the younger 8-year-old is on ventilator support at a local hospital and paralysed from the waist down. 

As for the first case of polio reported in Tuaran last year, the 3-month-old baby is in stable condition but still under intensive and isolated care at a local hospital.

So far, there have been 3 cases of polio reported in the state.

Situation under control, 65 more vaccinated for polio 

In the statement signed by Director-General of Health Malaysia, Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Bin Abdullah, the MOH confirms that
they are actively controlling the spread of polio throughout the state with a mass immunisation campaign targeting all children under the age of 5.

In response to the two recent cases, the ministry has also conducted screenings on 705 individuals that live in the same areas as both the children. Thankfully no other cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) were found. AFP is a symptom of polio. 

Meanwhile, 65 children living in those areas have been vaccinated for polio.

The MOH continues to urge parents to:

  • Vaccinate all children under 5 with the two doses OPV against polio
  • Follow the routine immunisation schedule as set under the National Immunisation Program for Children (Program Immunisasi Kanak-Kanak Kebangsaan)
  • Maintain proper hygiene such as washing hands after use of the toilet; bathing using only treated water; and washing hands before preparation of meals for children
  • Use a proper and clean lavatory at all times; and to dispose of used diapers in sanitary conditions. Please refrain from throwing soiled diapers into open water such as rivers and the ocean
  • Do not swim in open water where there is suspected contamination of human faeces
  • Use clean and sanitised utensils at all times. Please eat food that have been cooked properly under the right temperatures, and maintain hygiene of eating places
  • Exclusively breastfeed children under 6 months of age as to avoid having to prepare formula bottles under unhygienic conditions
  • Immediately seek treatment if symptoms of polio are detected

This article was extracted from a recent media statement published by the Ministry of Health (MOH). The full statement in Bahasa Malaysia can be read here:

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