Davao City reports 218 diarrhea cases with 3 deaths

DAVAO CITY – The Davao City Health Office (CHO) reported a total of 218 cases of diarrhea with three deaths as of Friday.

CHO head Dr. Ashley Lopez said during an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Friday that out of the total cases, 19 have fully recovered and 196 still active.

He said that the latest casualty of the diarrhea outbreak was a 32-year-old male patient who died of ‘acute renal failure’ at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) on Thursday.

He said the patient was first admitted at the Saint Felix Hospital in Talomo District on July 16 due to acute gastroenteritis with moderate dehydration and was transferred to the SPMC on July 20 when his condition worsened.

“After two days of admission in the private hospital, he suffered severe dehydration with metabolic disorders, and that’s why he was transferred to SPMC,” he said.

He said the patient, a resident of Lingig town in Surigao del Sur, worked as a teacher in the city and stayed in Barangay Lubogan Toril.

“The condition of the patient is not improving. In fact, it was getting worse and there was indication that he should be transferred to...SPMC because of electrolyte imbalance,” he said.

Like other cases, Lopez said it was reported that the latest casualty had eaten ‘isaw’ or grilled chicken entrail and tapioca drink sold at the night market on Rasay Street, Toril that evening of July 15 and manifested symptoms of diarrhea hours later.

The CHO reported that the first cases who died of complications from diarrhea included a 10-year-old boy and a 67-year-old female whose death was blamed on ‘incidental hemorrhagic stroke’ while being treated at the Viacrus Medical Hospital.

The patients came from 18 affected barangays in Toril District and three in Talomo.

Affected areas in Toril are Alambre, Bangkas Heights, Baracatan, Bato, Binugao, Camannsi, Catigan, Crossing Bayabas, Daliao, Daliaon Plantation, Eden, Lizada, Lubogan, Marapangi, Mulig, Sirawan, Toril Proper, and Tungkalan.

Affected are Bago Aplaya, Baliok and Dumoy in Talomo District.

The youngest case is six months and the oldest, 71.

He said there are two severe patients at the intensive care unit of SPMC.

“With the mitigating measures that we have been doing, we can see some improvements in our efforts so that we can finally overcome this crisis or outbreak,” he said.

The city confirmed an outbreak of diarrhea on Sunday after more patients were admitted to different hospitals in Toril due to loose bowel movement (LBM).

Lopez said the city government has yet to determine the cause of diarrhea, pending results of the water analysis, food sampling, and rectal swabbing, but added that there is strong indication that the street food at the night market could have caused it.

“The source is very common among them – presumably the street food – because right after the intake of food from that area, they manifested LBM, vomiting, and other symptoms related to acute gastroenteritis,” he said.

He said a four-man team from Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) came to Davao from Manila to do an independent investigation on the outbreak.

He said that the team took water samples from affected areas, which would be taken to RITM for final and official analysis.

He said the city government has ordered temporary suspension of the operation of the night market in Toril.

He added around 400 food vendors participated in the food handling seminar on Thursday.

He said the City Social Welfare and Development Office is providing assistance to affected vendors for their basic needs until the night market resumes operations.

He said the local government cannot allow street food vendors to resume operation while there is an outbreak of diarrhea.