GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/02 July) — Health authorities in South Cotabato have declared as “under control” the cholera outbreak in a remote village in Lake Sebu town that was earlier reported to have killed two children and downed 250 other people.
Jose Barroquillo, health emergency coordinator of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Wednesday no new cases of the disease have so far emerged in the last several days in several communities in Barangay Ned in Lake Sebu that were affected by the outbreak.
Citing results of their disease surveillance and assessment, he said a number of local residents were initially treated for diarrhea-like symptoms last June 17.
He said the number of affected residents later increased and with cases recorded in four sitios of Barangay Ned, specifically in Kibang, El Dulog, Tapal and Blit.
Of the two fatalities earlier reported, he said a two year-old girl identified as Ivy Kadatuan was confirmed to have died due to the disease.
Baroquillo, who joined the IPHO team that earlier responded to the area, said they found traces of cholera among 38 patients that they treated.
“We traced it to the contaminated drinking water resources in the affected communities,” he said.
Most of the households in these areas don’t have sanitary toilets and mainly depend on wells and springs for their drinking water, he said.
The official said the bacteria that causes cholera could have contaminated the area’s water resources and eventually infected local residents.
To help address the problem, he said they provided local residents with water disinfectants and medicines for the treatment of cholera.
He said Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes ordered the delivery of additional water disinfectants and other necessary supplies to the area last Monday.
“We’re hoping that no further cases will come out in the coming days. But in case there will be more, there are already enough medicines and water disinfectants available for the area,” he added. (MindaNews)