Tuaran's baby in Sabah State, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, tested positive for polio on Friday after being admitted to a hospital with fever and muscle weakness, said the director general of health, Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a release.
The Philippine government said in late November that a total of eight polio cases have been confirmed after an "outbreak" of the disease in September.
He said cVDPV 1 originates from a weakened poliovirus used in vaccines administered orally.
Noor Hisham said the tests showed that the boy was infected with a strain of polio that shared genetic links with the virus detected in Filipino cases.
Malaysia was declared polio-free in 2000, and this is the first polio case reported in the country since 1992. It spreads quickly among children, particularly in unsanitary conditions and in war-torn regions where access to healthcare is limited. The case in the Philippines, which shares a border with Sabah, was the first in the country since 1993.More news: Supreme Court lets abortion ultrasound law stand
"To ensure that the polio virus does not continue to spread in Malaysia and infect those who are not immunised, vaccination activities will be continued in the area of this case and will be expanded to other risk areas", he said. This the first polio case in about 27 years. "There is a very high possibility of a rising trend".
Dr Noor Hisham said immunisation will be stepped up after an investigation in the infant's home village showed that 23 out of 199 children, aged between two months and 15 years, were not vaccinated against polio.
"As a result of explanation to parents about the importance of polio immunisation, all of the children's parents have agreed to be given polio vaccination", he said. In recent years, Malaysia had recorded a number of deaths among children from diphtheria, a vaccine-preventable disease, because they did not receive immunisation. "Those who have been vaccinated will be protected from infection".
Dr Dzulkefly said the infant, who is now in the intensive care unit, began developing symptoms of polio before he received his second polio vaccination.
The weakened virus has been excreted from the body through the faeces.More news: Tiger skin, foetuses found in Indonesia poacher case
One suggestion to stop polio outbreaks would be to discontinue administering the live oral vaccine and switch to the not-live, injectable vaccine, now used in the USA.
Noor Hisham said that fecal samples from the close contacts of the infected child and its surroundings had been collected in an attempt to detect the poliovirus.
"It genetically mutates and becomes active, aggravated by the length of time it spreads in the community".
The Malaysian health ministry is now trying to contain the disease and is urging parents to have their children vaccinated to prevent it from spreading.
He said as of December 5, 646 individuals had been examined and none had been diagnosed with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), a proxy for poliomyelitis in the area.More news: China’s exports dropped 1.1% in November from a year earlier