BARILI town’s water sources are being closely watched after at least 98 persons fell ill due to typhoid fever in the last three months. Three people succumbed to the illness.
According to the Cebu Provincial Health Office’s (CPHO) inspection report, the 98 cases were reported in 24 of the town’s 42 barangays from March 16, 2022 to June 25, 2022.
Of the 98 cases, 28 are from Barangay Poblacion, 21 from Gunting, 12 from Mantayupan, five from Guibuangan, five from Japitan, four from Maigang and three from Minolos; two each from barangays Tubod, Nabunturan, and Maghanoy; and one case each from Cagay, Bolocboloc, Luhod, Patupat, San Rafael, Hilasgasan, Budbud, Nasipit, Kangdampas, Tal-ot, Mantalongon, Pangpang, Campangga and Sta. Ana.
Most of the patients experienced fever for up to 14 days, diarrhea and stomach pain.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium, which can be contracted from food or contaminated water. Symptoms include high fever, diarrhea and vomiting.
The Cebu Provincial Government has already sent medicines to Barili, including antibiotics, two boxes of typhoid and NS1 test kits, 70 percent chlorine granules that will be used to treat water, 1,000 vials of Ceftriaxone, 100 vials of Omeprazole, 1,000 paracetamol tablets and 144 bottles of paracetamol syrup.
An initial investigation showed that two of the town’s 16 water sources—the Dakitanong Pundok Inc. and Barili Waterworks—did not pass the e. coli bacteriological test. Their operations have already been suspended until they pass the test.
All waterworks system in the municipality also do not have an operational permit from the Department of Health.
“It was found out that some patients used mineral water for drinking; others used water from Kang Undo Spring box, Luhod Spring Box, Guibuangan Water tank, Bolocboloc Spring box, Belgian Reservoir, Mantayupan Spring and COWASCO in Guadalupe Carcar,” the CPHO said in its inspection report.
The Barili government has ordered the operators of all the water sources to secure an operational permit, to inspect their pipelines and place a “not safe for drinking” sign in connections that have leaks.
Barili Mayor Julieto “Julie” Flores said on Thursday, June 23, 2022, that he has ordered an investigation on the typhoid situation to determine the source of the illness. He also asked the town’s water distribution firms to monitor their pipes for cracks that create risks of contamination.
Flores said he had met with municipal health officers, sanitary inspectors, waterworks heads, and Capitol and town officials to discuss the typhoid situation.
He said they will conduct water chlorination to help prevent bacterial contamination in their water sources.
Despite the high number of typhoid cases in his town, Flores said it is not alarming because the cases are “manageable.”
“We can’t call it an outbreak yet. Our RHU is already patrolling the barangays with typhoid cases and we briefed them on the illness. We also instructed them to boil water from the tap before consumption,” the mayor said.
Flores said the local health office had also started teaching barangays how to manually chlorinate their water sources as the town does not have a proper chlorinator yet.
Meanwhile, all families of typhoid patients in Barili will receive up to P5,000 in financial assistance, as announced by Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd) through his official social media page.
Garcia said the families will receive medical assistance through the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“We are already coordinating with each family so that they can be given a minimum of P5,000 in assistance, to help pay for their medicines and hospital bills. Amounts will vary depending on the needs of each family,” Garcia said.
Garcia said he will also personally help the families of the deceased and give them additional cash assistance.
The Barili Rural Health Unit advised residents showing typhoid symptoms like fever, body pain, cough and diarrhea to call their office at (032) 470-9195. (ANV / TPT / JGS)
TYPHOID OUTBREAK? Cebu Rep. Pablo John “PJ” Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district) visits the Barili District Hospital on Saturday, June 25, 2022, to check on the condition of residents who contracted typhoid fever earlier this month. The younger brother of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has vowed to provide free medicines for those who got admitted due to typhoid fever. As of Saturday, June 25, the town has reported a total of 98 confirmed typhoid fever cases, including three deaths, in 24 barangays since March this year. / Cong. PJ Garcia’s FB page
June 25, 2022
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