CEBU CITY -- At least 147 employees of Cebu Mitsumi Inc. suffered from stomach pains and diarrhea last Tuesday, 49 of whom had to be taken to the hospital.
Danao City Assistant Health Officer Eric Echavez said some of the employees were brought to hospitals in Danao and Cebu City.
“Most probably it had something to do with contaminated water,” he said.
His office has yet to get the results of the laboratory test conducted on stool samples.
Until he gets the lab results, he said they cannot confirm the cause of the workers’ ailment.
The laboratory results will be sent to Dr. Regina Tan, the company doctor of Mitsumi.
Mitsumi, the biggest manufacturing firm in Danao City, employs some 20,000 workers.
Echavez said Tan coordinated with the City Health Office last February 10 to report that 147 employees had been suffering from stomach pains and loose bowel movement.
Provincial information officer Ethel Natera said that among those who were confined at the Cebu Provincial Hospital in Danao City are Shiela Mae Ygot, 19, who was admitted last February 9; and Juliet Bagayo Temblor, 23, who was admitted last February 11.
They were given fluids to prevent dehydration and medication for amoebiasis.
Echavez said that Tan has yet to submit an update of the patients’ condition.
Sun.Star Cebu called Mitsumi on Thursday to get their side but was told that Tan was still in a meeting with company safety officers.
The Provincial Epidemiological Services Unit (Pesu) team went to Danao City on Thursday to check the patients’ condition, said Natera.
The team learned from the patients that the company’s drinking water fountain may be the source of contamination.
Echavez said there might be other sources of contamination because if it were the company’s water supply, not only a hundred but thousands would have been affected.
He said the Danao City Health Office is also doing its own investigation. On Thursday, City Health personnel inspected eateries near Mitsumi, which have health permits, Echavez said.
However, Mitsumi employees also buy food from ambulant vendors, who don’t submit themselves for inspection by health authorities, the official lamented. (OCP/Sun.Star Cebu)