Lake Sebu village quarantined to prevent spread of malaria

Dr. Edgardo Sandig, provincial health officer, said they are closely monitoring barangay Bacdulong in Lake Sebu for possible outbreak of malaria due to the noted increase of positive cases during a recent massive blood-smearing test in the area.

"We have initially quarantined the area, which is already endemic to malaria, to prevent an outbreak, especially now that the rainy season has started," he said.

Sandig said they are set to deliver mosquito nets and reagents for malaria to Bacdulong and nearby villages.

He said the World Health Organization's Global Fund Project has committed to provide at least 2,000 mosquito nets and malaria reagents to the province as support for the local government's drive against the disease.

"We have also started a massive treatment for malaria in the area and we're encouraging residents to undergo blood smearing to know if they have the disease," Sandig said.

So far, Sandig said that there was no reported death yet due to the disease in the area but stressed that they are not taking any chances. Aside from the treatment, Sandig said they also conducted an evaluation in the area to determine some factors that could have led to the rapid spread of the disease.

He said they found out that the village presently lacks enough supply of safe and potable water and residents mainly rely on wells for their drinking water.

Sandig said some of these wells have become breeding grounds of mosquitoes that carry the malaria disease.

Aside from Bacdulong, Sandig said their office and their counterparts in Sultan Kudarat have also stepped up their joint malaria border operations in barangay Ned, Lake Sebu where a malaria outbreak was recorded two years ago.

The cause of the outbreak was then traced from malaria-endemic villages in nearby Sultan Kudarat province.

According to the Department of Health, malaria is a debilitating infectious disease characterized by chills, shaking, and periodic bouts of high fever. Caused by single-celled protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium, malaria is transmitted from person to person by the bite of female mosquitoes.

The Plasmodium falciparum type of malaria is the most common species found in tropical areas and is transmitted primarily during the rainy season.

Such species is reportedly the most dangerous and accounts for half of all clinical cases of malaria and 90 percent of deaths from the disease.