THE City Health Office (CHO) on Friday reported an outbreak of cholera in a populous community called "SPDA" in the village of Vitali, 73 kilometers east of this city.

City Health Officer Rodel Agbulos confirmed that 30 cases of cholera were registered in the area two days ago.

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Of the total cases, Agbulos said one turned out to be fatal, wherein a three-year-old child died.

Agbulos said 17 of the 30 victims remain admitted at the Vitali Community Hospital.

Agbulos said the patients complained of severe stomach ache, vomiting and loose bowel movement.

He said the contaminated water from the deep well, the only source of water in the area, was confirmed as the root cause of the infection.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.

It has a short incubation period from less than one day to five days, and produces an enterotoxin that causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhoea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given.

Vomiting also occurs in most patients.

Agbulos said CHO personnel were immediately deployed to Vitali village as soon as the report reached his office Wednesday to help alleviate the situation and to get specimen for the conduct of laboratory tests.

"Immediately we sent personnel to the area to get specimen and results of tests showed that the patients were positive of cholera," Agbulos said.

Agbulos appealed to the residents in the village of Vitali to undertake measures to ensure that the water they use is potable.

He said that another health team went Friday to the so-called SPDA area in Vitali to bring additional medicines such as antibiotics and other chemicals to detoxify the water source.

More samples were taken for the conduct of more laboratory tests, Agbulos said.

"We appeal to the residents to make sure that their surroundings are clean and to make sure that they boil the water before drinking to avoid the outbreak of diseases," Agbulos added.

Agbulos has ordered his personnel to undertake all necessary measures to ensure that the disease is contained and that the patients are properly attended. (Bong Garcia)