Food, waterborne disease outbreak declared in Bacolod village
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The City Health Office (CHO) of Bacolod City declared a food and waterborne disease outbreak in Barangay Handumanan after 145 students were admitted to various hospitals in the city beginning Friday, October 14, due to suspected food poisoning.
Dr. Grace Tan, head of CHO-Environmental Sanitation Division, said it is considered an outbreak due to the number of cases. She added that the illnesses was possibly caused by the food and water ingested by the victims.
Pupils from Handumanan Elementary School 1 reportedly drank fruit juice and ate halo-halo, ice candy, and fried chicken last Friday.
As of press time, 11 of the 145 patients had already been discharged
The City Health Office is waiting for the laboratory results of the stool examinations in order to specifically determine the cause of the illnesses.
Tan also said they conducted water sampling from 4 sources in the village, including the source of ice used in the juice sold to the pupils, for bacteriological examination. She added that they also got samples of fruit juice and food sold by vendors.
Classes in Handumanan Elementary Schools I and II were suspended on Friday and Monday.
Meanwhile, Mayor Evelio Leonardia called for an emergency meeting Sunday, October 16, with the department heads and officials to begin plans to contain the outbreak in Barangay Handumanan.
During the meeting, health officials said they have sourced out the medicines needed for all the patients from the Department of Health in Western Visayas, adding that the supply of medicines will last until the patients fully recover. Those who have been discharged will still be given medicines.
Next week, the CHO and the DepEd will also be conducting seminars on food safety and proper food handling to all canteen operators and vendors in all 46 elementary and 22 secondary public schools in Bacolod City. – Rappler.com