DOH still verifying meningococcemia case


A HEALTH official in Davao region said Brokenshire Memorial Hospital has verbally confirmed that a four-year-old kid died of meningococcemia at the hospital on August 30, 2019.

However, Department of Health (DOH) Davao Regional Director Annabelle Yumang said in an interview with SunStar Davao Monday, September 2, 2019, that they are waiting for the official report from the hospital before they could provide additional details.

They are also verifying the strain of the disease.

They are now conducting surveillance on persons with whom the child had contact, like classmates and family members.

Yumang said the child did not go to school on August 29 and was absent on August 30 before he was rushed by his grandmother to the hospital.

Based on the September 2 online news report by Tina Panganiban-Perez of GMA News, Health Secretary Francisco Duque has also confirmed the meningococcemia case.

“It’s true. There’s a 4-year-old boy who died of meningococcemia,” Duque was quoted as saying.

Earlier, Brokenshire Integrated Health Ministries, Inc. denied reports of a meningococcemia outbreak.

“The patient was a suspected case who exhibited signs and symptoms similar with the case definition of the disease,” Brokenshire said in an official statement posted on their official Facebook account on Saturday, August 31.

The hospital said the collected specimen from the patient was sent out for confirmation.

“The ER (emergency room) and the hospital has been cleared by the Infection Control Committee and is now safe and operating normally as usual,” Brokenshire added.

In an earlier statement, DOH also said they have given Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to close contacts of the patient, including the family members, pupils from the pre-school where the deceased child was studying, and emergency room staff who closely attended to the patient.

“A team from the Department will visit and monitor the school to assist the teachers in proper information dissemination to the parents and ensure that everyone closely exposed to the deceased child will be given PEP," DOH said.

Leap of Faith Learning Center, Inc. (LOFLC), the school where the deceased patient was enrolled, said they will cooperate with DOH and the Davao City Health Office (CHO).

LOFLC also reminded its students, parents, and other school personnel to seek medical consultation “as soon as possible due to this medical emergency”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that meningococcemia is a rare infection caused by the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. This is the same type of bacteria that can cause meningitis.

WHO said the bacteria that cause meningococcemia can live harmlessly in the upper respiratory tract. Simply being exposed to this germ isn’t enough to cause disease. They also said up to 10 percent of people may carry these bacteria. Less than 1.0 percent of those carriers become sick. (With reports from Ralph Lawrence G. Llemit)


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