By John Noel E. Herrera
The Iloilo province recorded additional suspected cases of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) after the one reported from Oton town last week.
IPHO head Dr. Maria Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon said that there are already 13 suspected AGE cases in the province even as they continue to investigate other possible cases.
According to Quiñon, aside from the first suspected case reported last week, another five cases were also recorded in Oton as one family there showed symptoms of AGE.
Another case was also reported in Dingle town; three cases in Leganes from the same family; one in Pavia (discharged); one in Pototan (admitted), and one in San Joaquin (discharged).
Two cases might be linked to the AGE outbreak in Iloilo City as the one case in San Joaquin was reported to be working in the city, while the one in Pavia is a student in the city.
“Sa San Joaquin, diri na di siya gaubra sa syudad, ti wala ta pa mabal-an kung ano bala to ang gin kaon ya. Ang sa Pavia naman, isa ini ka estudyante man sa syudad kag ang nakaon ya kuno to street food,” Quiñon said.
(In San Joaquin, the patient is working here in the city, and we still do not know what he ate. While the one in Pavia, the patient is a student here in the city who happened to have eaten street food.)
Quiñon also said that all local government units (LGUs) in the province are conducting monthly water testing on all water refilling stations in the province.
“If the water refilling stations do not have updated water testing results, don’t buy from them and check it first, and avoid buying food and drinks that you are not sure if they have been prepared well,” she added.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Friday said that they are continuously monitoring possible cases of cholera and AGE in the province.
“We are looking into the province if there are any (AGE and cholera) cases and how many there are, so that we can execute protocols that we need,” Defensor said in a press conference.
The governor also reminded the public to keep their houses and surroundings clean so that they can avoid infections as it boils down “to sanitation issues, on the cleanliness of houses.”
He also emphasized that it is the reason “why we targeted Zero Open Defecation is because of (preventing diseases)” as “it is about bodily and environmental cleanliness.”
Iloilo City was placed under a state of calamity last Friday, Sept 2 due to the AGE and cholera outbreak caused by contaminated food or water.
Data from the City Health Office (CHO) as of Sept 6 indicated 393 AGE cases (292 recovered, 60 admitted, 32 under treatment at home, and nine fatalities) and eight cholera cases (seven recovered and one active) in Iloilo City.
City Hall also shut down 21 water refilling stations for their operating clandestinely or secretly due to a lack of valid permits or failure to pass the initial water potability testing.
Refillers that failed the initial tests will be allowed to reopen if they hurdle the next round of tests.