"DON'T panic.”

The assurance came from Negros Occidental Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang yesterday, September 28, following the death of an 88-year-old woman from Barangay Guinhalaran in Silay City died and later tested positive for cholera last week.

Describing it as an isolated case, Tumimbang still urged the public to ensure that their water source is potable and the food that they eat is clean.

He said his office has recommended to the Silay City government to declare an endemic or cholera outbreak in Barangay Guinhalaran.

Water samples from the water source of the woman were already taken and sent yesterday to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Manila for examination, Tumimbang added.

“The cause of death of the victim was acute gastroenteritis but it was actually cholera based on the laboratory test result which came out three days after the victim's death,” the doctor explained.

Based on records of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), there are five positive cases of cholera in the province with three in Silay City, and one each in E.B. Magalona town and Victorias City.

Tumimbang also explained that unlike coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which is viral and can be transmitted through droplets, cholera is bacterial caused by non-sanitized or infected water and food.

“That is why to make sure it is advisable to boil drinking water and wash well and observe sanitary food preparation. Personal hygiene also matters to avoid cholera,” he stressed.

Tumimbang said Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has already come out with an advisory for local government units (LGUs) to make sure of the water sources for potable water of their constituents in their respective localities.

"LGUs should inspect water sources especially during this rainy season," he said.*