Polio virus detected in Labuan sewage samples

The education ministry has expanded its polio immunisation campaign in Labuan. (AFP pic)

PETALING JAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the polio virus has been detected in water samples taken at sewage plants in Labuan.

However, he confirmed that based on surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and random testing, there have been no cases of polio infections in the federal territory so far.

Noor Hisham said the detection of the virus in the water samples was confirmed by the World Health Organization’s regional reference laboratory in Australia.

Meanwhile, the ministry has expanded its polio immunisation campaign to Labuan, using supplementary polio vaccines, administered orally.

The ministry was still carrying out the campaign in Sabah, where four cases have been reported so far.

“The campaign will involve two doses of type 1 and 3 of bivalent oral polio vaccines (bOPV), which will be given via mouth drops to children below 13 across Labuan.

“All parents in Labuan must ensure their children, aged under 13, receive the polio oral vaccine based on the schedule set by the Labuan Health Department.”

Noor Hisham also advised parents to take their children to the nearest clinic if they have missed any of their scheduled vaccinations.

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