A DIARRHEA outbreak has hit Medina town in Misamis Oriental, affecting some 400 individuals as of Friday, July 7, according to an official of the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
Jerie Calingasan, PHO officer-in-charge, said four areas in Medina have been severely affected by the diarrhea outbreak which began on June 29.
The affected areas are the south and north portion of villages Poblacion, Cabug, and Maanas.
A 71-year-old Alfonso Magallanes, Calingasan said, died at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) satellite hospital in Medina town.
Freitchie Virtudazo, spokesperson of the Medina local government unit, said the outbreak has alarmed municipal officials, who have sought the help from concerned agencies of the government.
Dr. Maria Alma Enriquez, a rural health doctor of the town, said the town’s source of potable water in Kibuntod village is suspected of having been contaminated with coliform bacteria.
"We are still waiting for the result of the water analysis so we cannot know yet the result. Because a water sample was collected and was sent to the regional health office to be examined. The result is still to be released by the Department of Health this Monday as they are the only ones who were trained and authorized to examine the sample," Enriquez said.
Enriquez said that some victims suffered from the characteristic stomach pains. However, not all of the patients were taken to hospitals as some decided to stay home.
She added that as part of their response to the situation, the Medina Rural Water Works Sanitation Cooperative (Merwasco) is currently undergoing flashing of the pipelines and chlorination.
"Merwasco was already reminded to fix and inspect their water pipes which could have been left submerged in some of the canals. Volunteers have also done a clean-up drive," Enriquez said.
In addition, the local government unit of Median has already coordinated campaigns in their area reminding its citizens to be vigilant about their water source and to at least boil their drinking water for fifteen minutes before consumption. Schools were also informed to review proper hygiene and hand washing to their students.