Healthcare personnel, medical equipment sent to help Barili arrest typhoid fever surge

Published June 28, 2022, 5:44 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY — Help is on the way for a town in southern Cebu that has been struck by a high number of cases of typhoid fever.

The Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH 7) said it will help the municipality of Barili address its high number of cases by sending healthcare personnel and medical equipment.

In a press conference Monday, June 28, Dr. Ronald Jarvik Buscato, medical officer of DOH 7, said at least 50 typhoid test kits have been sent to the town.

The DOH 7 will also send rectal swab kits that would help municipal health officials identify those who have been infected with Salmonella Typhi.

Hospital beds will also be sent to the town to help the town’s infirmary and district hospital handle more patients.

“We’re doing our best to provide these,” said Buscato.

As of June 25, the town logged 98 typhoid cases with three deaths.

DOH 7 has started investigating the surge of cases of typhoid fever in the town.

The Municipal Health Office has pointed to poor sanitation as the likely cause.

“Similar to their Rural Health Unit findings, our house-to-house investigation, we discovered that there are areas with unsanitary conditions,” Buscato said.

DOH 7 is also not discounting the possibility that contaminated water pipes may also have also caused the surge of typhoid cases in the town.

“Contaminated water is the most common source of typhoid but let’s not discount improper preparation of food and poor sanitation,” said Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Cañal, cluster head of the Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit.

Those infected with salmonella typhi may experience prolonged fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and constipation or diarrhea, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

DOH 7 said that those who are showing signs of typhoid fever must seek medical help right away.

“Just like dengue, typhoid fever, if left untreated, will progress rapidly. And may even lead to complications or worse, death. This is why we highly recommend those who are showing symptoms to get professional help,” said Cañal.