By JENNY F. MANONGDO
July 16, 2012
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) are assessing the appropriate measures to contain the outbreak of cholera in the province of Catanduanes after more than 2,000 have already fallen ill and 14 have died from it.
DoH Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said a total of 2,046 people were diagnosed sick of cholera and 14 have died since January 1 to July 12.
The PIA quoted Dr. Nestor Santiago, in an emailed report, that these figures are a big leap as compared with only 445 cases recorded from January to July last year.
DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit in Bicol reported that apart from Catanduanes, the province of Camarines Sur had 811 cases of cholera with seven deaths; Sorsogon with 291 cases and five deaths, Albay recorded 168 cases and four deaths, Camarines Norte had 54 cases and Masbate with three.
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine due to the bacteria Vibrio cholera.
“We were not able to confirm if everyone were affected with Vibrio cholera because only 34 were confirmed for the bacteria. But in this case, everyone was exhibiting the same symptoms,” Tayag said.
Tayag said the source of drinking water in six towns in Catanduanes was found to be unsanitary.
“The water source is dirty. In fact, 50 percent of water samples were positive for fecal contamination,” he added.
The health official advised households to boil their drinking water before drinking it.
He said they are monitoring the outbreak because the affected population is significant considering that the estimated population of the whole province is only at 300,000. (With a report from PIA)