CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: An old man died while 400 others were admitted to different hospitals as Misamis Oriental on Friday declared an outbreak of diarrhea in the coastal town of Medina, 112 kilometers east of this city.
Freitchie Virtudazo, spokesman of Medina, identified the lone fatality as Alfonso Magallanes, 71, who died while undergoing treatment at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan de Oro.
She said that as of 7 a.m. on Friday, the municipal government already tallied a total of 400 diarrhea victims prompting them to officially declare an outbreak of diarrhea in the town.
Virtudazo said the local government unit (LGU) has called for volunteers to assist the victims as more people were deployed to investigate and find out the possible causes of the outbreak.
“The report about the diarrhea started on June 29 but the LGU became suspicious because the number of reported victims has grown since then,” Virtudazo added.
Meanwhile, Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano ordered the medical staff of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) to be on standby alert after declaring the diarrhea outbreak.
He said medicines such as as metronidazole, paracetamol, cotrimoxazole, Oresol and Waterine, a liquid solution for drinking water, had been dispatched to the Medina Rural Health Unit (RHU).
Ma. Alma Enriquez, Medina rural health physician, said health officials suspected the town’s potable water source in Barangay Kibuntod to have been contaminated with coliform bacteria.
Enriquez said that some victims suffered stomach pains while some have difficulty standing due to severe pain. But not all of them were admitted to hospitals because some decided to stay home.
The municipal doctor asked the resident to first boil the tap water before drinking to ensure that it is safe and clean.
A coliform bacteria is present in the digestive tracts of humans and animals and found in their wastes.