More diarrhea cases reported in Cebu-A A +A
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
CEBU CITY -- About 50 new patients were brought to the Danao City District Hospital on Wednesday, bringing to 263 the total number of diarrhea cases reported in the city since November 1.
Danao City Health Officer Arturo Allego pointed out, though, that some patients have been discharged. He also said that aside from three confirmed fatalities, no new deaths have been reported.
In Cebu City, assistant city epidemiologist Durinda Macasocol assured residents who get water from the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) are safe.
She said MCWD closely monitors the quality of water within its franchise area, which is why the diarrhea outbreak in Danao is not likely to occur in Cebu City.
Although some diarrhea patients have been discharged, Allego said the Danao City District Hospital remains congested.
The diarrhea outbreak, which began last week, underscored the hospital's limited capacity of 25 beds. Some patients had to resort to lying on cots outside the hospital. The Danao district hospital had asked the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center to accommodate some of these patients.
When the renovation is completed, the Danao City District Hospital's capacity will go up to 100 beds.
The outbreak was traced to the presence of fecal coliform bacteria in the drinking water of seven barangays in Danao. Allego said the device used to add chlorine to the water supply is not operational.
To ensure the safety of its water supply, Allego said the Danao City Government is planning to put up a perimeter fence within the 24-meter radius of the spring-type water system in Barangay Taboc. The City is also proposing to fill up a nearby swamp with limestone (anapog).
But the proposal to relocate the three houses within the five-meter radius of the water source is yet to be studied by the Danao City Assessor's Office.
In Cebu City, reported cases of diarrhea this year dropped by about half -- or 2,151 from 4,340 between January and November 2009.
The City Epidemiology Surveillance and Statistics Unit reported that there were only five diarrhea-related fatalities from January to November this year, compared to 55 in the same period in 2009. The youngest fatality this year was a nine-month-old baby.
Most of the diarrhea patients were from Duljo and Inayawan. Most of them were male. Macasocol said children and old people are more vulnerable to dehydration due to diarrhea.
She cited lack of sanitation as the cause of diarrhea.
Barangay Guadalupe, one of the populous barangays in Cebu City, also had a high number of reported cases of acute infectious diarrhea and acute gastro-enteritis.
Although Cebu City is prepared to deal with an outbreak, Macasocol said the incident in Danao is not likely to happen in Cebu City. But she urged residents to boil their drinking water when there are leaks in the water pipes, and to be careful about buying and eating food on the streets.
She also urged the public to practice proper hygiene and sanitation, like washing hands before eating and after using the toilet. (JKV/USJR intern Davinci Maru/Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 02, 2010.