Diarrhea outbreak alarms Zambo, Basilan officials

By Queenie Casimiro, ABS CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at May 25 2011 09:25 PM | Updated as of May 26 2011 05:33 AM

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Health officials in Zamboanga City are closely monitoring hospitals following a surge in the number of patients being admitted due to diarrhea.

Records at the Zamboanga City Health Office reveal that a total of 1,823 patients were downed by diarrhea from January to April this year, compared to the 1,360 in the same period last year.

On Monday alone, 7 patients were admitted at the Zamboanga City Medical Center.

City health officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos said the diarrhea outbreak may have been caused by the weather or the food that kids eat during their summer vacation.

Agbulos added that they are also looking into the possibility of water contamination.

He said residents should check water pipes in their area if there are any leakage that might have caused the disease to proliferate.

"Most of the patients are children and come from congested barangays," Agbulos said.

Diarrhea cases are also up in Basilan Province.

Records from the Isabela City Health Office show that from May 1 to 23, 188 patients were downed by diarrhea. A total of 164 were admitted while 24 were outpatients. The health office said these figures are still being validated.

The local health officials appealed for media's help to promote the use of boiled or bottled water, the practice personal hygiene particularly in the use of toilet facilities, and cleanliness in surroundings.