KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Two more cases of polio have been confirmed in the Malaysia's northern Borneo state of Sabah, health authorities said on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to three since the disease made a comeback in December 2019 after 27 years.
The two patients, aged 11 and 8 respectively, had not been immunized since birth and were discovered as part of a surveillance after a three-month-old Malaysian boy in Sabah was found to have polio last December, Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said.
"With the confirmation of the two latest polio cases, it makes three positive polio cases in Sabah. All of the patients are still receiving treatment in hospital and are stable," he said.
"The ministry has inspected 705 people in the areas where both children live after confirmation of the cases. There were 65 children (in those areas) who missed their polio immunization and (have since) been given polio vaccine injections," he added.
The ministry urged the public, especially the parents, to make sure their children were given complete polio immunization. People should also take necessary steps to maintain personal and environmental hygiene.
Polio is an infectious disease which spreads rapidly. It can cause paralysis and, on rare occasions, can be fatal. There is no cure for polio but it can be prevented with multiple doses of polio vaccines that have long been proven safe and effective.
Malaysia last had a polio case in 1992 before it was declared polio-free in 2000 together with other Western Pacific countries.