Norovirus kills 5 in Zambo

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 27 Apr) – The mortality cases due to acute gastroenteritis (AGE) that is caused by norovirus rose to five, as the Oficina de Salud or City Health Office here continues its information campaign in more communities in the city.

“There are five documented mortality cases – one adult and four pediatric cases,” Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, city health officer, told MindaNews, following the declaration of the first AGE outbreak in the city.

He added that from March 18 to April 21, there have been a total of 1,124 documented cases of acute gastroenteritis in the city, with majority affecting the vulnerable age bracket of 1-5 years with 526 cases, and 237 cases of infants under 12 months.

The patients, Agbulos said, have been confined in four hospitals, namely, Zamboanga Doctors Hospital, Mindanao Sanitarium, Brent Hospital, and the Zamboanga City Medical Center, which has the highest number.

“These four hospitals have already exceeded their alert and outbreak thresholds for the number of AGE cases that were admitted,” Agbulos pointed out.

He warned earlier that norovirus is highly contagious, and is primarily transmittable via person-to-person contact. “While it is alarming being viral, it is also self-limiting. It will die on its own within five to seven days, even without antibiotics,” he noted.

The government doctor also strongly recommended early rehydration.

“Drink more, more Oresol. If the pain is severe, which normally begins with severe gastric pains, the patient must not take this for granted,” Agbulos said.

“Eighteen to 1,000 viral particles constitute a single infectious dose of norovirus and a droplet of an infected person’s vomitus is more than enough to infect even up to 100,000 persons,” he elaborated.