The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas is monitoring the town of Barili in southern Cebu following a rise in typhoid fever cases in the area.
Data from the surveillance unit of DOH-7 showed a total of 54 typhoid fever cases in the town from May to June 21 this year.
This brought the total cases to 447 for the entire region, with 9 deaths, 3 of which came from Barili in January, April and June.
The health agency's initial probe showed that poor sanitation might be the main cause of the infections.
“Apart from water sources, we are looking into shared toilets in the town,” said Dr. Mercedes Cañal who heads the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESU) in Central Visayas.
The regional health office recently augmented the local government unit in terms of beds, medicines, and personnel. They also confirmed reports that the town’s infirmary went over its capacity with admitted patients.
“It is not outbreak level yet. The report sent to us was in a lump but the increase in cases was actually gradual,” said Dr. Jarvik Buscato.
“Hopefully by next week, the right recommendations will be done and we can step in fully,” said Buscato.
Typhoid fever, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body. It is caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi, which is related to the bacteria that cause salmonella food poisoning.
Some of its symptoms include stepladder fever and constipation.
“We are reminding all health units in the local governments to strictly enforce sanitation to avoid typhoid fever and other diseases,” Buscato said.—Report from Annie Perez
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