By GERRY LEE GORIT
CAGAYAN de Oro City–The situation in Medina has started to stabilize after more than 400 residents of this town were infected with diarrhea recently, municipal Mayor Donato Chan said yesterday.
Chan said only about less than 20 patients are still being confined at the town’s medical facility, a significant drop from the 479 individuals who contracted the illness after drinking water from a variety of sources, including from the pipelines of the Medina Water Works Sanitation Cooperative (Merwasco) and from community wells and village water pumps, on June 29.
Per initial findings conducted by a private company based in Medina, water samples were found to have been contaminated with coliform bacteria.
For its part, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) said rectal swabbing was initiated by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) based in Manila of patients and based on the results from the samples, traces of cholera el tor bacteria were detected from 17 of 22 affected persons.
As residents were afflicted with diarrhea, the PHO has sent medicines such as metronidazole, paracetamol, cotrimoxazole, oresol and waterine to Medina.
But Chan said only the Department of Health (DOH) can officially declare what really caused the epidemic that struck the people of Medina days ago.
At the height of the outbreak, two persons died, although only one of them was due to diarrhea.
Chan said Alfonso Magallanes, 71, died of heart disease, while Shim Poligrabes, 26, succumbed to dehydration from severe case of diarrhea.
Meanwhile, the PHO said it is now monitoring the situation in Medina.
The Provincial Health Office (PHO) said it has “strengthened its coordination with the municipal and health officials in Medina in the evaluation and monitoring on the declared diarrhea outbreak in the town” since June 30 to avoid a repeat of the incident.
The PHO said it has also advised the town’s water utility to conduct periodic treatment of their water source under the supervision of the DOH.
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