The polio outbreak detected in the Philippines is now over, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund said.
The WHO and UNICEF said the Department of Health officially concluded the polio outbreak response on June 3 “as the virus has not been detected in a child or in the environment in the past 16 months.”
The WHO’s representative to the Philippines called the development a “major win for public health and is an excellent example of what collective efforts can attain, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The DOH announced a polio outbreak in the country in September 2019 after 19 years of being polio-free. The resurgence of the illness came after the Philippines was hit by measles and dengue outbreaks early in 2019 stoked by falling vaccination rates.
Polio, a disease that mainly affects young children who have not completed their vaccination schedules, can cause paralysis, or even death.