Typhoid hits 18 Albay villages, 66 hospitalized

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Oas, AlbayLEGAZPI CITY (11June2013/PNA) – Sixty-six residents in 18 villages in the town of Oas, Albay were downed by suspected typhoid fever, the Provincial Health Office (PHO)said on Monday.

Dr. Nats Rempillo, PHO assistant chief, said in his report to the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol that of the suspected typhoid cases, 23 people were hospitalized at the Rebueno General Hospital; five were reportedly confined at the Josefina Belmonte Duran District Memorial Hospital in Ligao City — four of which have been discharged; and 10 people were held for treatment at the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital (BRTTH) — four of have been discharged on Monday.

Of those cases confined at BRTTH, one turned out to be positive for Salmonella D.

The 66 villagers that were hospitalized were diagnosed to have suffered from high fever for more than five days, dehydration and loose bowel movement, constipation, moderate-to-severe headache and weakness.

Marilyn Palattao, head of the PHO epidemiology unit, said the suspected typhoid cases were reported by the Municipal Health Unit on May 28 where suspected typhoid cases were monitored in the villages of Tobog, Bagumbayan, Mayao, Iraya, Talongog, Camagong, Ilaor Norte and Sur, Maporong, Ubaliw, Bongoran, Saban, Manga, San Agustin, Balogo, Gumabao, Cagmanaba and Busac.

These villages are located within 5-10 kilometers from Oas town proper.

The surveillance team said the incidence of the water-borne disease began last May 16 and the cases have surged until Monday.

Records indicate that more than half of the people that fell sick were children, 34, and while the rest, 32, were adults with ages from 1 to 58.

Pallatao said her office can not declare the incidents as an outbreak due to lack of authority, as, she said, only the DOH regional epidemiologist can make such declaration.

Initial findings reveal that the patients who fell ill were infected either with bacteria from contaminated water from the town water reservoir, Pallatao said.

She said most of the households in the affected villages get their drinking water in the town water reservoir.

As a disease-control measure, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda directed the PHO and the town MHU to strictly implement household chlorination with the use of chlorine granules, aquatabs, chlorine solutions (waterine) and sanitation.

He also directed the PHO and MHU to conduct an examination of all water sources and refilling stations that supplies Oas.

Those patients that were hospitalized were given free medical treatment.

Rectal swabs from the patients and the bacteriological examination conducted by the epidemiology team have been sent to the DOH Manila office.(PNA)

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