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Diseases threaten Iloilo, Aklan folk after typhoon

July 7, 2008 1:44pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday expressed concern over increasing incidences of various diseases in Iloilo City and Aklan following the onslaught of typhoon “Frank."

A radio report quoted Dr. Glenn Alonsabe, chief epidemiologist of the Department of Health (DOH) Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit in Western Visayas, as saying that the local health unit has received reports that residents in typhoon-hit areas are afflicted with dermatitis, conjunctivitis (sore eyes), diarrhea, and even acute respiratory infection.

Alonsabe also said the DOH is also monitoring cases of leptospirosis, thyroid fever, and dengue fever in these provinces.

In fact, Alonsabe said health officials are looking into two recent deaths which are believed to have been caused by leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis is an infection usually acquired through exposure to water contaminated with animal urine. The infection begins when infected water enters unhealed breaks in the skin and eyes.

Alonsabe had earlier tagged Santa Barbara town, Pavia town, and Jaro district in Iloilo City as leptospirosis "hotspots."

In the interview, Alonsabe assured that DOH has sufficient supplies and medicine for typhoon victims.

Western Visayas is the area hardest-hit by typhoon “Frank" which left 557 people dead - with most of the fatalities coming from the region.

The NDCC also recorded 301 maritime incidents caused by "Frank," excluding the capsizing of the MV Princess of the Stars off Romblon. Out of the 301 maritime accidents, 103 were in Western Visayas, 53 in Southern Luzon , and 48 in Central-Eastern Visayas. - Johanna Camille Sisante, GMANews.TV
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