Dr. Honorato Fabio, Alabel health officer, said four members of the Jabines family from Sitio New Bohol in Barangay Alegria in Alabel were rushed to a hospital here Saturday after complaining of severe stomach pains and vomiting.
He said the family reportedly felt such severe symptoms after eating pork meat for breakfast last Saturday.
“The effect (of the poisoning) was intense and immediate. After four hours, they already felt intense stomach pains, vomiting and other poisoning symptoms,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN General Santos.
Among those rushed to the hospital were Romy Jabines and his pregnant wife Helen and children John Clerk and Christine Joy.
On Monday, John Clerk died due to some complications and was followed by the twins who were still in the womb of their mother Helen.
Porferio Jabines, Romy's brother, said the victims may have bought contaminated pork from the Alabel public market last Friday afternoon.
“It could be a double-dead meat,” he said.
Dr. Renato Diagan, the attending physician of the victims, said their initial laboratory tests showed that the victims were positive of amoeba.
But he said they suspect that the poisoning could have been caused by Salmonella bacteria because the condition of the victims reportedly improved when they tried treating them with Chloramphenicol drug for typhoid fever.
According to medical references, Salmonella infections may be contracted by ingesting undercooked food from poultry, pork and cattle.
Most persons infected with Salmonella reportedly develop diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. The infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
“To follow sanitary protocols, we should make sure that the food we take comes from clean sources. For meat products, they should be sourced from government-regulated slaughterhouses to make sure they are not double-dead or contaminated,” he added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)