DIARRHEA cases in Barangay Tulalian in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte reached 295 after logging 124 fresh cases over the weekend, with some patients still hesitant to be hospitalized over fears of contracting or being declared to be coronavirus-positive.
On Saturday, July 17, 2021, the Sto. Tomas Municipal Government declared a diarrhea outbreak in Tulalian after a 58-year-old male resident died after experiencing loose bowel movement, stomach pain, and vomiting.
On the same day, the Municipal Health Office (MHO) recorded 124 new cases as residents swarmed the makeshift medical treatment facility installed at Barangay Tulalian covered court.
Of the 124, two were children aged between zero to 11 months, 20 children between one to five years old, 19 aged between six to 15 years old, 30 adults (between 16 to 25), 28 adults (between 26 to 40), and 25 adults (40 years old and above).
Fifteen patients were admitted to the Metropolitan Community Hospital, eight were admitted to Estela Medical Clinic, 15 were admitted to Rivera Medical Center Inc., and 14 patients were admitted to Matutes Medical Clinic.
In a press release, Municipal Health Officer Dr. June Lim said residents who fell ill with diarrhea decided only to get treatment when their conditions deteriorated.
“Nidaghan ang patients nato kay karon lang sila nigawas sa ilahang mga balay para magpatambal. Napugos na sila adto diri sa (The number of patients rose because they only went out just now to have treatment. They were forced to go to our) makeshift treatment facility kay dehydrated naman sila. Mao na ang rason na padayon ang pagtaas sa mga residente naigo sa (because they are already dehydrated. That is the reason why the number of affected residents continues to increase for those who experienced) diarrhea,” Lim said.
Lim said sick patients opted to stay home because they were hesitant to be sent to a hospital over fears that either they would get or be diagnosed with Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19.
“Nahadlok sila mag-adto diri kay ang uban dili sila gusto magpa-admit sa hospital kay basig matakdan sila og Covid-19 o i-declare sila na Covid-19 positive. Mao kana ang rason nganong ingon ana ang volume sa patients na atong gitabangan,” Lim said.
(They are afraid because they do not want to be hospitalized because they have fear of getting Covid-19 or be declared to be a Covid-19 patient. That is the reason why the high volume of patients we assisted.)
On Sunday, the MHO said 11 patients who fell ill with diarrhea had no symptoms of dehydration. This prompted the Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Davao del Norte to recommend that patients should be subjected to a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to rule out “Covid-19 diarrhea.”
The 11 patients registered on Sunday were not yet included in the latest case tally submitted to the PHO.
Lim added the local government is taking more progressive measures to contain the outbreak in the community such as the strict enforcement of Covid-19 health protocols.
Meanwhile, Mayor Ernesto Evangelista urged Barangay Tulalian officials not to be complacent, as the municipal government is facing two health issues: the diarrhea outbreak and Covid-19 pandemic.
Evangelista also reminded Barangay Tulalian residents to boil their water first before drinking to avoid water-borne diseases.
The Sto. Tomas government began rationing potable water and tap water for household use in the village on Saturday.