TACLOBAN CITY – The regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) has declared a diarrhea outbreak in a village in Almagro, Samar after the water-borne disease has downed 40 residents over the past two weeks.
DOH regional epidemiology and surveillance unit chief Roderick Boyd Cerro said local health officials traced the plague to the contamination of dug well, a major source of drinking water in Barangay Panjobjoban II, a farming and fishing village with 100 households.
“About 33 residents were confined at the Calbayog District Hospital since October 5 for suffering of diarrhea (symptoms). The rest underwent treatment at the rural health unit,” Cerro said.
The district hospital is the nearest health facility to the island town of Almagro. The only means of access to Almagro is by motorboat from the port of Calbayog City, taking usually up to two hours of travel.
“The water source is just near the residential area without toilet and canal. The contamination is very obvious even without laboratory tests confirmation,” Cerro added.
The local government has already ordered the closure of the water source. The health department has provided oral rehydration solution for affected residents and jerry cans for proper water storage.
Massive information drive on diarrhea prevention has been launched in Almagro town.
Diarrhea is characterized by stomach pain, headache, body weakness and watery stools. The worst is dehydration that can cause death.
From April to July this year, diarrhea outbreak in different parts of the region has killed 81 people and afflicted 9,432 others. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO)