Philippines: Samar outbreak declared, 33 deaths reported
by Robert Herriman, originally posted on June 10 2016
In a follow-up to a previous report on the diarrhea outbreak that has sickened hundreds in the Eastern Visayas region, particularly the province of Samar, health officials have now officially declared the situation an outbreak in three Samar provinces: Calbiga, Sta. Rita and Catbalogan city, Samar.
The declaration was made by DOH-08 regional director, Minerva Molon who said that as of Thursday, some 2,937 individuals have been affected by diarrhea caused by a still yet unidentified etiological agent, resulting in 33 deaths to date. This more than double the cases reported just days ago.
Molona notes that the source of the outbreak is linked to poor source of drinking water and intake of contaminated foods.
Like the diarrheal outbreak in Zamboanga City, officials say the outbreak is likely due to unclean water due to the drought.
However, unlike the Zambo outbreak, where a viral etiology has been linked to the illnesses, the Samar outbreak is suspected to be due to a bacterium and testing continues.
Meanwhile, DOH-8 is continually undergoing disease surveillance and reporting.