Diarrhea affects 138 in 12 E. Samar villages –DOH

Diarrhea affects 138 in 12 E. Samar villages –DOH

A recent outbreak of diarrhea caused by contaminated water has affected residents in Llorente, Eastern Samar. Efforts are underway to prevent the further spread of the illness through intensified information campaigns and hygiene promotion. Photo: LGU Llorente via PNA

EASTERN VISAYAS –A recent surge in cases of diarrhea has raised the alarm in Llorente, Eastern Samar, affecting at least 138 residents across 12 villages. The Department of Health (DOH) regional office has attributed the outbreak to contaminated water sources. 

Dr. Ludina Insigne, the DOH regional food and waterborne diseases medical officer, has emphasized the need for urgent action to address the situation.

According to the DOH report, while instances of diarrhea have been recorded since January, a significant increase in symptoms has been observed in June. While most affected individuals have received home-based care, some patients have required hospital treatment. 

Currently, 22 individuals have been admitted to hospitals, with four testing positive for cholera through rapid tests. However, further confirmatory tests are still pending.

The village of Naubay has been the most heavily impacted by the disease. Other villages have also reported cases, including Antipolo, Bacayawan, 8, 11, 12, Barobo, Magtino, Piliw, San Miguel, So-ong, and Tabok. Dr. Insigne has pointed out that the root cause of the infection is likely the contamination of water sources. 

The prevalence of open defecation, including in rivers, due to a lack of toilets in some households has contributed to the problem. Furthermore, improper dishwashing practices in rivers have led to further food contamination. The infection can spread through contaminated food, drinking water, or person-to-person contact, primarily due to poor hygiene practices.

Patients have reported common symptoms such as abdominal pain, loose and watery bowel movements, and increased frequency of bowel movements. Although some cases have been severe, the DOH and local health office have not officially declared an outbreak, as they require additional evidence. 

The local government has intensified its information drive in response to the situation.  The authorities hope to promote proper hygiene practices and discourage the use of contaminated water sources by increasing awareness and education campaigns. —iTacloban (Source: PNA)

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