By Sarwell Q. Meniano
TACLOBAN CITY (PNA) – The recent spate of diarrhea outbreak that killed 81 people and afflicted 9,432 others in Eastern Visayas is now over, the Department of Health (DOH) officially declared on Tuesday.
“For the past three weeks, diarrhea cases have steadily declined. This is the result of our strong message sent to affected communities that diarrhea kills if neglected,” said DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon.
With 50 cases, Samar province recorded the most number of deaths due to the water-borne disease.
Mortalities have been reported also in some parts of Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, and Leyte including Tacloban City, the regional capital. The last death was recorded on July 10.
Molon also attributed the significant decline of diarrhea cases to the massive information drive, distribution of medicines, provision of aquatabs or water disinfectant tablets, and support of local government units and non-government organizations.
“We will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that diarrhea will not plague these communities again,” she added.
The DOH points to the summer season that dried up some of the water sources affected areas as the culprit. The situation prompted people to get their drinking water from non-potable sources.
The official also urged local government units to prioritize water supply projects to diarrhea-affected communities.
Fiesta celebrations between May to June this year, according to the DOH official, also aided the increase of cases due to person-to-person transmission and improper handling of food.
The health department advised the public to drink water only from safe sources, eat well-cooked and properly prepared food, keep food away from insects and rats, use toilet when defecating, and always wash hands before and after eating and after using the toilet.