PALO, Leyte – A 33- year old father and his five-month old baby girl from Catbalogan City died due to meningococcemia on January 4.This was confirmed by Roderick Boyd Cerro, chief of the regional office of the Department of Health’s epidemiology and surveillance unit, who said that the two died at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City.
“All clinical manifestations showed that the victims died of meningococcemia, but we still have to wait for confirmatory tests,” said Cerro.The DOH has been providing medicines to those who had contacts with victims to prevent spread of the fatal disease.“It is not necessary to wear masks since meningococcemia is not an air-borne disease. It is being transmitted through direct contact with discharges from nose and throat from an infected person,” Cerro said, deflecting the panic that ensued in Catbalogan after the two died due to the ailment.
The official also discouraged residents to take medicines not prescribed by doctors. Instead, he urged the public to regularly wash their hands and observe proper respiratory etiquette. The disease is caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitides that can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. The symptoms include high fever, headache, stiff neck, drowsiness, dizziness, convulsions, vomiting, unstable vital signs, coughing, and rashes. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO)