Romblon residents warned about diarrhea spread

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Apr 16 2014 12:51 PM | Updated as of Apr 16 2014 08:51 PM

ROMBLON - The Department of Health (DOH) in Region 4-B has warned residents in Romblon about the possible spread of diarrhea following the death of two victims.

Regional Office IV-B Director Eduardo C. Janairo said two municipalities in Romblon -- Cajidiocan and San Fernando -- have been greatly affected by the disease.

"Diarrhea is dangerous. It is one of the major causes of dehydration, which, if not treated immediately, can lead to death. When our body loses a substantial amount of fluids and salts, they are not easily replaced and that is when the body starts to 'dry up' or get dehydrated," Janairo said.

The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit IV-B (RESU IV-B) reported a total of 176 diarrhea cases from February 5 to April 14 this year.

Among the affected barangays were Taclobo, Mabulo, Espana, Poblacion, Azagra, Otod, Mabini, Campalingo, Danao, Panangcalan, Canjalon, Pili and Sugod.

"It is an infection caused by bacteria, parasite or virus which can easily spread from person-to-person. The only way we can prevent it is by practicing personal hygiene such as washing our hands regularly with soap and water and taking a bath regularly," Janairo said.

He said the age of cases ranges from 4 months to 78 years old. Majority of the cases were male (53 percent).

All cases were taken to Sibuyan District Hospital in Romblon for proper treatment and medication.

There were two deaths reported.

Signs and symptoms seen among the diarrhea cases were loose watery stools, vomiting, sunken eyeballs, and dry lips and skin. Swelling of the skin and fever were also present in some cases.

Janairo said the common sources of diarrheal diseases are polluted drinking water sources from contaminated surface waters getting into incompletely sealed wells, stored water containers, water that is stored and contaminated by fecally- soiled hands and contaminated food.

To address the health concern in the affected barangays, Janairo directed the implementation of control and preventive measures in the province such as the collection of specimens for laboratory examination, water sampling, cleaning and chlorination of water tanks and wells.

"The golden rule to follow in the prevention of diarrheal diseases is to properly 'boil, cook, peel or forget about it!' We should also consider where to eat, the time when the food was prepared and be sure that the food establishment and food vendor practices proper food handling and hygienic practices. Being cautious has also its own health benefit," Janairo said.