SOME 43 inmates at the Cebu Provincial and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) are displaying measles-like symptoms, prompting the Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (Resu) 7 to monitor their condition.

Renan Cimafranca, head of Resu 7, said there were initially 22 cases last week.

He considered the sudden jump to be of epidemic proportion.

He said they’ve confined those whom they suspect of having measles in separate cells to keep them away from healthy inmates.

Roger Villarin, 33, came down with a fever 10 days ago. He has also developed rashes.

Villarin was one of 12 inmates who had their blood sample taken yesterday by the Resu 7 staff to be tested.

Positive

Cimafranca said 11 inmates who initially gave blood samples all tested positive for measles.

He said those with fever were given supportive treatment: medicine for fever and Vitamin A, as measles depletes the patient’s vitamin supply causing poor eyesight.

If left untreated, he said, the disease might damage the eyesight permanently.

Measles, he said, may also lead to pneumonia.

Cimafranca said he blames jail visitors for infecting the inmates, adding that congestion and poor ventilation helped spread the virus.

According to Jail Warden Romeo Manansala, the CPDRC is home to 1,971 inmates.

Meanwhile, Cimafranca said the number of people displaying typhoid-like symptoms in the northern town of Borbon has reached 82.

He said the cases are confined in Barangays Lugo, Clavera and Cajel.

Contaminated water

He said qualitative tests on the town’s water source--water in the faucet and reservoir--tested positive for fecal coliform, or traces of human waste.

He said the “outbreak” started with only a few cases last June 12.

Cimafranca said they’re closely monitoring cases in Cajel, with has the smallest number of patients, to determine if these are going up.

He said of the seven patients confined, two have already been discharge while the condition of the other five is improving.

Cimafranca noted that only 40 percent of residents in the affected areas have a sanitary toilet. The rest defecate outside.

He said the rain must have washed out some of the latrines, which may have resulted in contaminating the barangays’ water sources.