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Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Manila (October 9, 2019)

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TimL
10/9/2019 20:00 EST

Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Manila (October 9, 2019)

Location: Philippines

Event: Health officials have reported an outbreak of polio in the Philippines.

Actions to Take:

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all U.S. citizens living in or traveling to the Philippines be fully vaccinated against polio.
Before traveling to the Philippines, adults who completed their routine polio vaccine series as children should receive a single, lifetime adult booster dose of polio vaccine.
Read the Center for Disease Control's (CDC's) Polio in the Philippines webpage: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/polio-philippines.
Assistance:
· U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
+63 (2) 5301-2000
· ACSInfoManila@state.gov
· State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

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surfingcebu
10/10/2019 00:35 EST

OMG what's next !! Malaria is bad on Negros , Dengue is getting bad now too , NOW Polio ! ....My lord !

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TimL
10/10/2019 00:41 EST

Yeah, no kidding. The part that has me a bit worried is:

feces.

Most people with polio do not feel sick. Some people have only minor symptoms, such as fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, stiffness in the neck and back, and pain in the arms and legs. In rare cases, polio infection causes permanent loss of muscle function (paralysis). Polio can be fatal if the muscles used for breathing are paralyzed or if there is an infection of the brain.

What is vaccine-derived polio?

The oral polio vaccine (made from a weakened strain of the poliovirus) is given as drops in the mouth to protect against polio. This vaccine has been extremely effective in wiping out polio in developing countries where most of the population gets vaccinated. In areas where there are low rates of vaccination against polio and sanitation is poor, the weakened vaccine virus can spread from person to person. Over time, as the virus spreads, it can regain its ability to cause disease in people who are not vaccinated. Polio caused by a vaccine strain is called vaccine-derived polio.

Vaccine-derived polio cannot spread in the United States because the US has high vaccination rates against polio and the oral polio vaccine is not used here.

What is the current situation?

An outbreak of polio has been reported in the Philippines. This outbreak is caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV), a sign of low oral polio vaccine coverage in the country.

What can travelers do to prevent polio?

Get the polio vaccine. CDC recommends that all travelers to the Philippines be vaccinated fully against polio. In addition, adults who have already been fully vaccinated should receive an additional (single) lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine. Even if you were vaccinated as a child or have been sick with polio before, you may need a booster dose to make sure you are protected. See the Polio Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) for more information.

“If you will be in the Philippines for more than 4 weeks, the Philippine government may require you to show proof of polio vaccination before you leave the country. To meet this requirement, you should get the polio vaccine between 4 weeks and 12 months before you leave the Philippines”.

By that, it sounds like the PH Gov. could force people to get them or not allowed to leave.

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surfingcebu
10/10/2019 00:46 EST

I think I had a Polio booster in Grade 5 or 8 ...or something like this . Do I need yet another booster ?

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TimL
10/10/2019 00:46 EST

Weird. Sorry, I didn’t mean to post all of that and I can’t seem to edit the post.

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TimL
10/10/2019 00:47 EST

According to what I read, yes. An adult booster is recommended.
I had all of that stuff to, as a child.

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TimL
10/10/2019 00:48 EST

Before traveling to the Philippines, adults who completed their routine polio vaccine series as children should receive a single, lifetime adult booster dose of polio vaccine.

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TimL
10/10/2019 00:48 EST

Before traveling to the Philippines, adults who completed their routine polio vaccine series as children should receive a single, lifetime adult booster dose of polio vaccine.

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LovePhilly
10/10/2019 08:26 EST

Tim, this is excellent helpful information. Thanks for sharing.

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mattinnorfolk
10/10/2019 08:36 EST

Thanks Tim, and I go for my first visit there on Oct 29, and was told to get a Polio a few weeks ago and did as with other shots. Thank you for confirming the advice.

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gelynch52ph
10/10/2019 12:20 EST

There is a sign on the bridge going into Malaybalay from CDO that says, "help eradicate polio, get vaccinated." The first time I saw it I remarked that I thought polio had already been eradicated. How is it that in a country that has so much "Pinoy Pride" that they can't just do what other countries do and follow normal vaccination processes?

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Robertdav298
10/12/2019 03:09 EST

gelynch........it is because like all other things in the RP, they are corrupt as hell, somebody probably stole the vaccine money. The RP government is not really sincere about helping their population. Oh yeah, they will come on the news and say all sorts of wonderful things but in reality there is no plan......it is all "lip service"

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darkfader24
10/12/2019 04:08 EST

RobertDav - THIS is why Duterte has so much loyaty, I am sure. It sometimes seems that he is the only one who gives a damn about his people!!

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Goslig
10/12/2019 05:35 EST

Robertdav298 You are right. I was taught by the Federal Government of Canada to just give the “feel good” message and leave it at that. In translation it means a NO. Everything was about how to “sunset” the basic needs to get people educated and working. Spending less was in the “taxpayers interests”. Of course the deluxe office tower overlooking Coal Harbour an Stanley Park in the prime downtown Vancouver location was a necessity. Welfare was a way of controlling the Indigene people’s. Toe the line or get cut off. There is a different work ethic, however. that Indigenous peoples in British Columbia have. They are not 9 to 5, Monday to Friday types. They get a contract to build a biological station at a lake in the wilderness, and then they work non-stop, sunrise to sunset until it’s finished. When offered regular jobs, then decline and head out.

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Robertdav298
10/12/2019 06:13 EST

So I have a friend that lives here in Cebu and is going back to the US in early April. Like most of us he was vaccinated as a kid for polio, since he is coming from the RP he is wondering if he will be allowed to enter the US because he does not have his shot record with him as most Americans do not?

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Morgacj2004
10/12/2019 12:14 EST

I have never heard of a foreigner being asked to provide a shot record upon entry to the PI.

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TimL
10/12/2019 18:41 EST

I haven’t either but then, there has never been an outbreak that I am aware of, of a disease this serious.
I could see other Countries potentially stepping up their game and wanting proof of vaccination for people coming from or, that have recently traveled to the Philippines as well, in order to protect their own populations.

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TimL
10/12/2019 19:03 EST

Robert, I cant imagine that a US Citizen could be denied entry back into the US. Polio has been irradiated in the US so they probably aren’t that worried about it. Then again, it was irradiated in the Philippines as well until recently. I guess it’s always possible that the US could quarantine those they were worried about upon arrival.
There’s always a possibility that airlines could get freaked out enough to not want to risk planeloads of passengers being infected and would require some type of proof before allowing people that have been in the Philippines to board and leave.
Who knows, I’ve certainly never experienced anything like this before. It could end up being not all that serious at all. I guess the next few weeks will tell the tale.

I saw a letter from the PH Dept. Of Health, Dated Oct 04, 2019 stating that residents with international travel “may not be allowed to depart” if they are unable to provide proof of vaccine. It didn’t mention visitors in that letter.
I wish that I was able to post it here.

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Robertdav298
10/13/2019 02:59 EST

I guess we will have to wait and see what happens and look for the US DEPT of Health to publish any updates.

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phonedoctor1
10/13/2019 05:46 EST

well I for one will get another polio shot before i return !

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Robertdav298
10/14/2019 21:30 EST

TM/PHONE, I have also heard that those of us that received a POX vaccine as children may need another injection.

A friend told me this on an American google chat

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mattinnorfolk
10/15/2019 06:16 EST

My doctor advised the same thing and why I git my booster 3 weeks ago for my trip two weeks from today.

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surfingcebu
10/15/2019 11:49 EST

Mattin - you got a booster for what ? Polio , or other . what shots did you get for your trip in total . ??

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mattinnorfolk
10/16/2019 05:00 EST

I got polio, typhoid, hep a and b, Japanese encephalitis and my normal flu shot. And I am bringing a z pack. She gave me a script for malaria pills but doubt I’ll take them but will bring deet wipes. I have o positive blood so I am like créeme brûlée to mosquitoes .

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Goslig
10/16/2019 10:30 EST

mattinnorfolk Don’t forget 1% hydrocortisone cream for ant and mosquito bites.

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mattinnorfolk
10/16/2019 10:31 EST

Thanks Gos.

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