Epidemic Hazard – Pacific ocean – west – Philippines

EDIS Number: EH-20120303-34389-PHL
Date / time: 03/03/2012 18:39:57 [UTC]
Event: Epidemic Hazard
Area: Pacific ocean - west
Country: Philippines
State/County: Province of Cebu
Location: Cebu City
Number of Deads: 3 person(s)
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: 999 person(s)
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A


Three were confirmed dead and 30 were confined in the local hospital after typhoid fever hit Tuburan, a western Cebu town, a health official said Saturday. One of the fatalities was a seven-year-old girl from Barangay Cogon who died at 6 a.m. Saturday. Renan Cimafranca, Department of Health (DOH) regional epidemiologist, confirmed a typhoid outbreak was declared in the town. He also confirmed that three residents have died because of the ailment. A tainted water source is believed to have caused the outbreak. Interviewed separately, a representative of the office of Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante said only one person, not three, was confirmed to have died of typhoid fever. Due to the outbreak status, officials of the DOH Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (Resu) conducted a massive operation in the town by administering antibiotics and medication among the residents. DOH is still checking how many patients were brought for treatment to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City. Tuburan health officials, in an ABS-CBN TV Patrol report Saturday, said about 300 residents of the town are believed to be suffering from typhoid fever, with 60 others already tested positive of the virus. Most of those afflicted are children.

Cimafranca told Sun.Star Superbalita that the residents in eight of the 54 barangays in the town began suffering the symptoms last week. He said blood samples were taken from 12 more patients and results of the tests will be known next week. Resu received reports of the ailment last Thursday and immediately sent a team to the town. Tuburan is a second-class municipality, with a population of 53,663, according to the 2007 census. Elly Viscayno, whom the mayor authorized to speak to the media about the case, said two other deaths have yet to be confirmed as having been caused by typhoid fever. Giasha Aquilla, 7, was the first confirmed casualty, said Viscayno. The reasons why Kevin Hernane of Poblacion, Tuburan and Angelita Rico of Barangay Kagbao died still have to be checked with their individual death certificates, since they died at Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center. Diamante’s office has organized a team to go to every barangay and warn all residents of Tuburan to seek immediate medical treatment if they have fever. Viscayno said that as of Saturday, around 300 patients, mostly with fever, went to the covered court to have themselves checked up. They were also given free medicines. A team from the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) also helped them, said Viscayno.

As of Saturday, IPHO head Dr. Cristina Giango has not issued a statement yet, saying she’s still waiting for feedback from the team sent to Tuburan. The municipality is also giving away free chlorine and residents are advised to boil their water before drinking it. To prevent typhoid fever, the DOH recommends chlorinating water supply, always covering food to prevent insects from contaminating them, washing all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and washing hands with soap and water after using the toilet and before eating. Typhoid fever, according to the DOH website, is caused by the salmonella typhi bacteria and is marked by a sustained high fever, headache, general weakness, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation, and abdominal pain.

Event updates:
Situation Update No. 2 on 2012-03-06 at 19:42:23.
Situation Update No. 1 on 2012-03-05 at 13:56:31.

Syndicated from RSOE EDIS - Emergency and Disaster Information