Meningococcemia case in Cebu probed

by Carine Asutilla, ABS-CBN Central Visayas

Posted at Dec 08 2012 02:32 AM | Updated as of Dec 08 2012 10:32 AM

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas is investigating reports of a meningococcemia case in the town of Lilo-an in Cebu province.

Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, assistant regional director of the DOH in the Central Visayas, said they will conduct an epidemiological examination to find out if the case is really meningococcemia.

Once it will be confirmed, they will trace all the people the victim had contact with when the victim was still sick.

Hospital director Dr. Rufo Noval said that last December 1, a 14-year-old girl was rushed to the emergency room due to fever.

She also had rashes all over her body and was suffering from headache, stiff neck, petechia, and malaise, which are symptoms of meningococcemia.

Noval said when the girl arrived in the hospital, she was already in shock.

She died later in theday day and her family was advised to bury the victim immediately to avoid possible spread of the illness.

He said that they were not able to conduct necessary tests to confirm the disease because they do not have laboratory work during weekends.

They were not also able to get the needed samples for a test because the victim was taken to the emergency room too late.

Although meningococcemia was not confirmed, the municipal health office launched measures to prevent the possible spread of the disease.

They gave medicines for those who were exposed or had contact with the victim.

Her family tested negative for the disease. Health workers also fumigated the places the victim stayed.

Elisa Escutin, the principal of the school where the victim studied, said last Monday, they suspended their classes to disinfect the entire school.

They also conducted information dissemination among students and parents.

The municipal health office will also hold seminars in all areas of Lilo-an regarding the disease.