‘Contaminated spring water caused diarrhea’

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: Local officials have identified the source of the drinking water as the cause in the diarrhea outbreak that resulted in the death of two residents and downed about 600 people in Medina town of Misamis Oriental.

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Rural health officials on Monday said the outbreak had been contained.

Medina Mayor Donato Chan said only four patients had been admitted, reportedly of diarrhea, on Sunday and only 32 patients, of about 600 reported, remained confined in government-run rural hospitals.

Chan said water analysis conducted by a private company showed that one of the sources of spring water in the village of Macau was contaminated with e-coli bacteria from animals and human waste.

The e-coli bacteria gained access to one of the spring water sources during high tide as coastal water seeped into the spring water.

“We have ordered the closure of the contaminated spring water source until corrective measures are in place. The other spring water source located in the same area in Barangay Macau was not contaminated because it is inaccessible by waters at high tide,” Chan said.

Health officials reported that the afflicted townfolk reportedly drank the contaminated water distributed by Medina Rural Waterworks System Cooperative during the town’s anniversary celebration on July 1 and the infection manifested only days after.

The diarrhea outbreak was declared last Friday after Alfonso Magallanes, 71, died in a Cagayan de Oro hospital while 400 others were admitted to different hospitals. On Saturday, another diarrhea patient, Shim Poligrabes, 26, also died and the number of patients swelled to about 600.

CRIS DIAZ

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