MANILA — Cases of cholera and typhoid have increased in the country during the rainy season, the Department of Health said Friday.
From Jan. 1 to Aug. 6, the country reported 2,650 cholera cases, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing. The figure is 230 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, the World Health Organization said.
It takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water. Most of those infected with the water-borne disease will have no or mild symptoms and can be successfully treated with oral rehydration solution.
Cholera affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated, the WHO said.
Meanwhile, the country logged 7,681 typhoid cases from January to August this year. This is 109 percent higher compared to the same time period last year, Vergeire said.
The WHO described typhoid fever as a life-threatening infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. It is usually spread through contaminated food or water.
Symptoms include prolonged high fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and constipation or diarrhea. Typhoid fever can be confirmed through blood testing, the WHO said.
Most people who have typhoid fever feel better a few days after antibiotic treatment, but a small number of them may die of complications, it added.
Vergeire said the onset of the rainy season increases the risk of transmission of water-borne diseases.
"One of the factor that can contribute the increase of cases is the rains," she said. "Napuputulan ng tubig ang iba. May disruption sa water services. So, they look for optional na para makakuha ng tubig. Sometimes, madumi ang tubig kaya nagkakaroon ng ganitong insidente."
(Some experience water outage. So they look for other sources of water. Sometimes, the water is contaminated and lead to these incidents.)