THE diarrhea outbreak in Danao City may be under control, but the Department of Health (DOH) 7 continues to test water and food samples to determine the cause of the outbreak.

As of yesterday, reports on new cases were declining, confirmed two doctors in separate interviews.

Also, 22 of the 55 patients who had been confined have been discharged.

A Cebu Mitsumi Inc. official said 200 employees suffered from stomach pains and diarrhea last Tuesday. One tested positive for cholera and another tested positive for amoebiasis, according to the Provincial Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (Pesu).

Water from Mitsumi’s drinking fountains was tested but the result was negative of contamination.

DOH Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (Resu), Pesu and the Danao City Health Office also conducted separate tests on food and water samples inside and outside Mitsumi premises.

Rectal swabs were also taken from patients.

Christian Acebedo, medical technologist and Pesu team member, said yesterday the patient who tested positive for cholera continues to suffer stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting. She is now undergoing treatment. The other patient who tested positive for amoebiasis is also undergoing treatment.

Provincial Health Office Head Cynthia Genosolango sent a Pesu team to Danao City at the onset of the outbreak to check the patients’ conditions and to get food and water samples.

Mitsumi physician Regina Tan said there has no hospital admission since Feb. 11 and only seven new cases were reported yesterday, bringing to 200 the total number of reported cases.

“Possible nga adto pa nang Wednesday nagsakit, or earlier, pero karon lang ni-report (It’s possible the patient got sick last Wednesday but only reported it now),” Tan said.

Danao City Health Officer Publio Piedad said the peak of the outbreak was last Feb. 10. That was when severely affected patients were rushed to the Danao Mother and Child Hospital and the Cebu Provincial Hospital in Danao city; Mendero Medical Center in Consolacion; and Cebu Velez General Hospital, Visayas Community Medical Center, Chong Hua Medical Center, all in Cebu City.

Diarrhea incidents started to drop on Feb. 11, he said, adding that fewer cases that were also mild had been reported.

Yesterday, Mitsumi assistant manager for environmental safety Mil Tangalin announced that all their drinking fountains tested negative of any contamination. This was shown by their internal tests and confirmed by outside and independent tests done by Ostrea Laboratories.

This supports earlier belief that the patients may have been contaminated by eating outside food or drinking water outside company premises.

Although everything is under control, Renan Cimafranca, Resu head, said they continue to gather food and water samples, including “sago,” “gulaman” and fruit juices sold outside company premises.

He said they should get the results in three days.

Acebedo said they also took samples from a store selling ice outside the company.

Mitsumi is the biggest manufacturing firm in Danao City, employing more than 20,000 workers.