Polio resurgence in Malaysia

Polio resurgence in Malaysia 4

Polio resurgence in Malaysia

The 3-month-old patient, living in Tuaran, Sabah state, was hospitalized on December 8 with symptoms of high fever and muscle weakness.

According to Noor Hisham Abdullah, an official at the Malaysian Ministry of Health, the patient was infected with a strain of polio that shares a genetic link with the virus currently breaking out in the Philippines.

Checking the epidemiology of the area where the patient lives, health officials said that 23 out of 199 children aged 2 to 15 have not received the polio vaccine.

`This is a worrying situation, because vaccination is the only form that can prevent the spread of polio,` said Mr. Noor Hisham.

Polio virus usually spreads in children between 2 and 15 years old.

Malaysian authorities have collected stool samples from people in contact with patients to detect polio virus, and have increased surveillance for cases of acute paralysis, a common symptom of the disease.

In 2000, Malaysia announced that it had completely eliminated polio.

There is currently no cure for polio after the virus invades the nervous system, causing permanent paralysis within hours.

Polio virus spreads rapidly among children, especially in unsanitary conditions and underdeveloped or war-torn areas, hindering people’s access to health care.

Polio resurgence in Malaysia

A child receives a polio vaccine.

T Jayabalan, a public health expert, said he was `not too surprised by the resurgence of polio, because Malaysia does not consider vaccination mandatory`.

In recent years, due to the spread of false information, some parents refuse to have their children vaccinated against diseases.

In many countries in the Southeast Asia region, vaccination rates have dropped significantly, causing a resurgence of preventable diseases.

Community doubts about vaccines, government management, moral principles in the Muslim community in Indonesia and Malaysia… have affected vaccination work.

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