GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 Apr) – At least 34 residents from a remote village here were hospitalized in the last several days due to a suspected diarrhea outbreak.
Dr. Amanda Robosa, medical officer of the City Health Office, said Wednesday the outbreak mainly affected two outskirt communities of Barangay Upper Labay.
She said the diarrhea cases started to emerge late last week and was initially believed to have been caused by a contaminated drinking water resource.
“Most of the victims were adults and have already recovered,” she said in an interview over TV Patrol Socsksargen.
Residents claimed the outbreak started after the area’s main drinking water resource started to taste and smell unusually foul.
Residents, specifically those of Puroks 7 and Almotak, draw their drinking water from rubber pipes attached to a spring water resource at an upland portion of Barangay Upper Labay.
Rosario Malig-on said her two grandchildren exhibited diarrhea-like symptoms after drinking the “foul-tasting” water.
Robosa said the area’s drinking water might have been contaminated due to some openings in portions of the rubber pipes.
“The prevailing intense dry weather could have also triggered some reactions on the pipes and eventually triggered the contamination,” she said.
Robosa said they are currently evaluating water resources to determine whether these were also contaminated.
“So far, we have already contained the diarrhea cases but we need to still trace its actual cause,” she said.
Robosa said they already sent samples and rectal swabs of the victims to confirm the type of microorganisms that caused the rise in diarrhea cases.
In the meantime, Robosa said they advised residents to practice proper hygiene, like regular hand washing and properly boiling their drinking water.
“We also educated them about some alternative treatments in case they will have problems accessing medicines later on,” she added.