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Bacolod cholera case worries health officials

BY CRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

Bacolod City has documented one confirmed cholera case as of September 16, bringing the city into an alert threshold for cholera, Dr. Grace Tan, head of the CHO Environmental and Sanitation, said.

Tan said the patient was a 37-year-old female who was admitted at Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) because of severe dehydration due to several episodes of watery stool and vomiting. She was discharged alive after five days of hospital stay.

The stool culture released Friday yielded Vibrio cholera, she said.

Tan said cholera is a food and water borne disease – it could either come from contaminated food or water, making hygiene is very important.

This should serve as a reminder to everyone on the importance of using safe, potable water for drinking and domestic use; to get water for drinking only from water refilling stations with updated bacteriological monitoring of its water and permits, she said.

Tan also reminded the public to ensure that water pipes or hose from Prime Water have no holes or bandages as contamination may seep in. If water for domestic use comes from a deep well, whether by hand pump or timba, ensure that water plates are not broken; while washing, bathing or laundry should be done away from the source.

Water source should be at least 25 meters from other sources of contaminants such as toilet, garbage, etc. Chlorination should be done regularly. Dug wells should be tightly covered, she added.

Open defecation is strongly discouraged. Each household is to have their own toilet. Sharing may be allowed provided sanitation is maintained. All wastes should go into a concrete septic vault and not in water ways or bodies of water- creeks, canals, rivers or the sea, Tan said.

She also reminded the public to wash their hands with soap and water before and after eating, during food preparation, and caring for the sick; as well as before feeding infants.

“You must know your food sources and where they are being prepared. Avoid eating raw meat, sea foods, and vegetables contaminated with night soil and human wastes. Wash thoroughly and cook well. Keep or maintain your food hot or cold and keep it covered,” Tan added.

Meanwhile, Tan said they have conducted inspections of water refilling stations in Bacolod City while the barangays should help sanitary inspectors in regulating them, as well as those reselling purified water.*

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