Philippines confirms 2nd case of polio

A health worker administers a polio vaccine during an anti-polio campaign in Manila on Sept 20, 2019.
A health worker administers a polio vaccine during an anti-polio campaign in Manila on Sept 20, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (REUTERS) - The Philippines health department on Friday (Sept 20) confirmed it had detected a second case of the polio virus this week, as the virus re-emerges in the country 19 years after it was declared polio free.

The second case was a five-year-old boy in Laguna, south of the capital Manila. The department announced on Thursday that a three-year-old girl had tested positive earlier this week in Lanao del Sur. The two provinces are about 1,400km apart.

Philippine officials on Friday said they were preparing to vaccinate millions of children against polio to halt an outbreak of a disease it believed to have been eradicated.

It comes as the Philippines grapples to tackle twin outbreaks of dengue and measles that have killed more than 1,000 people since January, most of them children.