DOH rules out cholera outbreak in Iligan

THE Department of Health (DOH) has ruled out any cholera outbreak in Iligan City despite the recorded nine confirmed cases within a month.

In a statement issued Friday, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said their analysis of the available disease surveillance data showed the absence of a cholera outbreak.

"After careful review of the data, neither Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) nor the City of Iligan has declared a cholera outbreak in their respective areas," said Ubial.

From the period May 26 to June 28, the government said there were nine confirmed cases of cholera found among internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The patients involved children aged nine months to six years old and a 62-year-old woman. They manifested symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and/or abdominal pain before testing positive for Vibrio cholerae Ogawa, the cholera-causing bacteria.

"However, these confirmed cases came from different evacuation centers and barangay," said Ubial.

Of the nine, four (44 percent) were reported from evacuation centers, while the rest were home-based IDPs residing in various barangays.

Despite this, the DOH chief called on local health authorities to be vigilant against the emergence of disease outbreaks.

"Authorities must remain be vigilant against any possible disease outbreak in the area," said Ubial.

She said she has already ordered health responders to conduct house-to-house and door-to-door visits, in coordination with the Barangay Captains, Purok leaders, and local police, and reach out to home-based IDPs, who might have illnesses, and provide them health services and possible hospital referrals.

"An improved surveillance system, I should say, is key to preventing disease outbreaks, including cholera,” said Ubial. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)
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