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Albay health authorities issue advisory vs diarrhea

By Connie Destura LEGAZPI CITY--- The Albay Provincial Health Office (PHO) Environmental Sanitation Service issued a health advisory bulletin following the outbreak of diarrhea in Albay’s 3rd district that killed a woman and hospitalized close to 100 people Monday last week. Engr. William Sabater, provincial sanitary engineer in an interview said precautionary and counter measures were included, like avoiding drinking unsafe water. To be sure, he said, water for drinking must be boiled for about 3 minutes or undergo water chlorination. Food must also be well cooked and properly prepared. “Avoid eating ‘street vended food’,” the advisory said. Keep the food away from insects and rats by using food cover, it added. No. 4 item in the advisory is to wash fruits and vegetables with clean water before eating and cooking them. Wash your hands before eating after using the toilet, it added. Sabater said they are continuously monitoring the diarrhea patients who have been hospitalized. Most of the patients came from Barangay Badian in Oas, Albay, while others were from the nearby municipalities of Pio Duran and Libon. The Pio Duran had 33 cases and residents from Barangay Pantao in Libon, Albay were hospitalized due to dehydration caused by loose bowel movement, while the rest of the cases were sent home after treatment at the rural health unit in Oas town, Sabater added. Based on the report of the provincial health sanitation team, diarrhea cases were caused by contaminated water from shallow wells, where most of the villagers source their drinking water. Deep wells were supposed to be at least 40 feet below the ground to be considered for drinking, but in the affected villages, they were found to be only 10 feet deep because of continuous rainfall in the past weeks, Sabater revealed. The PHO has distributed Oral Rehydration Solution (Oresol) and rice soup (‘am’) to replace lost body fluid and continue feeding. Sabater also said they have distributed 12,000 liters of drinking water for 6,000 people per day for 10 days, water containers, and antibiotics drugs to the municipal health unit and district hospital. Diarrhea is caused by increased secretion of fluid into the intestine, reduced absorption of fluid from the intestine or rapid passage of stool through the intestine. Symptoms associated with diarrhea include passage of watery stools at least 3x a day, excessive thirst and sunken eyeballs and fontanel.

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