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Negros Occidental town under state of health emergency due to amoebiasis cases

The city of San Carlos in Negros Occidental was placed under state of health emergency due to the increasing number of amoebiasis cases, Cyril Chavez of GMA Regional TV Cagayan de Oro reported on Unang Balita on Tuesday.

More than 230 people have been rushed to hospitals after experiencing symptoms of amoebiasis like diarrhea, vomiting and fever.

Because of this, San Carlos Mayor Renato Gustilo signed an executive order placing the town under state of health emergency.

According to Dr. Arniel Portuguez, officer-in-charge of San Carlos City Health Office, most of the patients initially thought they were suffering from ordinary diarrhea.

"Actually, diarrhea is a general term na 'yung loose bowel movement. When you say amoeba, specific 'yung germs na nagko-cause ng diarrhea or LBM," he said.

As safety precaution, residents were urged to ensure that their drinking water and food are clean.

They are also told to maintain their environment clean and observe proper personal hygiene.

Those experiencing symptoms, meanwhile, were urged to hydrate.

"Dapat na mag-hydrate ka, like, mag-take ka ng mga Oresol or oral solution para hindi ka ma-dehydrate," said Portuguez.

Persons experiencing for more than two days are advised to seek medical help.

Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, meanwhile, said the Department of Health (DOH) is still verifying the cases.

“We are now sending our team here from the Epidemiology Bureau to go to our Region VI para po matulungan ang aming regional epidemiology and surveillance units. They will go to San Carlos City tomorrow to verify this event,” Vergeire said at a media briefing.

Vergeire said local government units must first go through the DOH before they can declare a state of calamity or a state of emergency.

According to Vergeire, the city has a total of 189 amoebiasis cases.

“Kapag kinumpara po natin in the previous year, wala po silang kaso ng amoebiasis,” Vergeire said in a media briefing.

“Pero kailangan din natin ma-qualify dahil hindi naman lahat ng nagkaroon ng pag tatae doon, they were found to have amoebiasis,” she added.

She said they are also coordinating with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other agencies to address issues with the city’s water source. — with Joahna Lei Casilao/KBK/RSJ, GMA Integrated News