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Diarrhea outbreak hits DavNor village

DIARRHEA OUTBREAK. Sto. Tomas Municipal Administrator Elisa Evangelista-Lapiña (left) checks the water reservoir of Tulalian Water Association (TUWASA) on Friday (July 16, 2021), after the reported diarrhea outbreak in Barangay Tulalian in the town. A resident died of diarrhea while 47 others were hospitalized. (Photo courtesy of Sto. Tomas Municipal Information Office)

DAVAO CITY – Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte Mayor Ernesto Evangelista declared a diarrhea outbreak in Barangay Tulalian on Friday.

In a statement on Saturday, the Municipal Information Office (MIO) said the declaration was due to the death of a resident while 47 others were confined in various public and private hospitals.

As of Saturday, the Municipal Health Office said the fatality is a 58-year-old male resident who experienced loose bowel movement, stomach pain, and vomiting.

“The 47 residents were rushed to both private and public hospitals; some are still recovering while others were discharged,” the MIO said.

Puroks 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, and 15A were identified by the MHO to be the affected areas with 128 households in Barangay Tulalian.

“Our office was told that some residents in Barangay Tulalian have vomited and experienced diarrhea, I immediately sent a Quick Reaction Team (QRT) to give assistance to the affected residents as well as investigate the cause of the outbreak,” Evangelista said.

The QRT team composed of two doctors from the MHO and eight nurses were sent to Barangay Tulalian to provide health and sanitation services to the affected residents.

The local government has provided potable water to affected areas to ensure the outbreak would not escalate.

Municipal health officer Dr. June Li said 171 residents were also diagnosed with acute diarrhea secondary to amoebiasis.

Of the 171 registered cases, 24 belong to the one-to-five years old age group, 43 are from the 6-15 years old group, 29 from 16-25 years old group, 27 from 26-40 years old group and 48 from 40 years old and above group.

Charlemagne Fernandez, MHO administrator, said the local government unit (LGU) and the MHO began their investigation to determine the cause of the outbreak.

“But the Environment Sanitation Report from the MHO revealed that the water system source in the area was possibly contaminated because of the water’s poor quality due to poor chlorine disinfection. Such finding was based on the ocular inspection conducted by the Sanitation Team and random interviews with the Tulalian Water Association (TUWASA) personnel,” the MIO said.

Fernandez, however, said the result of the initial probe is not yet conclusive as the official result of the microbiological water analysis is expected to be released on July 19.

The MHO is also waiting for the results of the 15 patients who were subjected to rectal swabbing that would help them determine the bacteria in the patients’ feces.

Meanwhile, Municipal administrator Elisa Evangelista-Lapiña went to the area early on Friday and assessed the situation, and provide the needed assistance to the affected community.

Lapiña said the Sto. Tomas LGU provided potable water, installed a makeshift treatment facility in Barangay Tulalian covered court, meals, and other medical support to patients complaining of severe diarrhea.

The town also provided new water containers and water-purification chemicals to the affected areas while residents have been briefed about cleaning their surroundings and maintaining proper sanitation to prevent another outbreak.

“We will continue to monitor the patients to make sure they were all safe,” Lapiña said.

To avoid future outbreaks, Lapiña urged the officials of Barangay Tulalian to sit down with TUWASA to discuss how to improve the water supply in the barangay.

She added that the town is available to guide and improve water services delivery in the area. (PNA)

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Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph

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