Oliver Bugarin 3 0 0 4 min to read

Due to gastroenteritis, Iloilo City is in a terrible state.

In reaction to the rise in acute gastroenteritis cases, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has recommended declaring a state of disaster owing to food and waterborne infections in Iloilo City.

Mayor Jerry P. Treas asked the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) to hold a special session on September 1 to approve the proclamation, and the CDRRMC passed a resolution during their emergency special meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

When the state of calamity is declared, the CDRRMC has designated PHP12 million from the quick response budget for medical staff, supplies, medicines, gasoline, and other maintenance and operating costs.

At a morning news conference that same day, the City Health Office (CHO) reported that from July 26 to August 28 there were 90 acute gastroenteritis cases reported in Iloilo City’s 31 barangays.

Dr. Marigold Calsas, the medical coordinator of the Iloilo City Epidemiology and Surveillance Office, stated in the morning press conference that the city had recently seen an increase in instances of acute gastroenteritis, a condition that develops when contaminated food or water is consumed.

14 people are awaiting the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine’s test findings, while three confirmed cholera cases have already recovered.

In addition, 18 of the 90 cases remain hospitalized, while four of them have passed away.

The deceased included a 31-year-old man from Hibaoan Norte, a two-year-old girl from Rizal Pala Pala I, an eight-year-old girl from Barangay Calumpang, a two-year-old girl from Tanza Timawa 2, and a four-month-old daughter from Tanza Timawa 2.

Cholera has not been reported in the past five years, according to CHO officer-in-charge Dr. Annabelle Tang.

She continued by saying that reports of potential cases were still coming in.

In some barangays where there are cases, the CHO Environmental Health and Sanitation Division has already gathered water samples from deep wells, small tube wells, water vending machines, refilling stations, and bathhouses for a quick examination.

The results of the test indicated that around 17 deep wells had coliform contamination, and approximately 11 did as well.

To ascertain whether water refilling stations are selling drinkable water, health staff has been instructed to examine the sanitary permit and laboratory results.

In advance, according to Tang, the city’s mobile hospital would be opened to act as a hydration unit for minor injuries.

She emphasized the importance of maintaining cleanliness at all times and properly disposing of rubbish.

Food should be thoroughly prepared and water should be boiled.

“Now that it’s rainy season, we urge everyone to exercise greater caution. Waterborne illnesses are widespread or very prevalent, she continued.

The New York State Department of Health website states that while E. coli is the best predictor of fecal pollution, total coliform levels provide a general indication of the sanitation of a water source.


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