CHD to probe child’s death in Pulangbato

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014


HEALTH officials suspect a one-year-and-six-month-old girl in Barangay Pulangbato, Cebu City died of meningococcemia last Sunday.

City Health Department (CHD) Chief Daisy Villa said the death certificate of the child revealed that she died of multiple organ failure due to meningococcemia.

But Villa stressed that a series of laboratory tests needs to be conducted to confirm that the cause of death is meningococcemia.

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If the child really died of meningococcemia, Villa said, she would be the first case in Cebu City.

Sun.Star Cebu is withholding the name of the child pending the CHD’s confirmation of the cause of her death to spare her family from prejudice.

Report

In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Pulangbato Barangay Captain Maria Velasquez said she submitted an incident report about the child’s death to the CHD and to Mayor Michael Rama.

Meningococcemia is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. The bacteria live in a person's upper respiratory tract and can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets, such as when an infected person sneezes or coughs.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea and rashes with red or purple spots, according to the US National Library of Medicine website.

The child was brought to the South General Hospital last Saturday but she was transferred to the Perpetual Succor Hospital. She was pronounced dead at 1:40 a.m. last Sunday.

Villa said the body was wrapped in five plastic bags and placed inside a sealed coffin.

Medication

The child was buried immediately.

The hospital also gave medications to family members who had direct contact with the child, said Villa.

The CHD will lead the investigation on the incident and conduct steps to secure the health of the child’s family and those who had direct contact with her.

Rennan Cimafranca of the Department of Health 7 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit said his office will help the CHD investigate the case.

He said that last year, three suspected meningococcemia cases were reported to the DOH.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 11, 2014.

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