Cholera cases 282% higher than 2021 — DOH

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Cholera cases 282% higher than 2021 � DOH
Photo shows DOH office in Manila, Philippines.
BW file photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said Tuesday it has recorded 3,729 cases of cholera in the country since the start of the year.

The figure was 282% higher than the 976 cholera cases logged during the same period in 2021.

Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing that most cases were from Eastern Visayas, Davao region, and CARAGA.

Two hundred fifty-eight cases were recorded in the past month, with Eastern Visayas, Bicol region, and Western Visayas logging the most number of infections.

Since January, 33 people have died from cholera, an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated water.

Most of the cases of cholera in the country were children aged five to nine.

“The most common cause [of cholera] would be, of course, unsafe drinking water. We know that during the rainy season, there are floods and many go to evacuation centers. Because of calamities, our water systems are affected,” Vergeire said in Filipino.

The acting health chief said local governments have yet to declare outbreaks because cases remain manageable.

“If more local governments are involved, that’s the time that the national government comes in to manage and declare,” Vergeire said.

Symptoms of cholera include sudden onset of frequent painless water stools, vomiting and rapid dehydration.

To avoid cholera, DOH said the public should drink only safe and clean water; wash and cook food properly; wash hands with soap after using the toilet and before eating and keep surroundings clean.

Diarrhea in Quezon province

Vergeire said health authorities are investigating the reports of diarrhea cases in a Dumagat community in Quezon province.

Thirty-eight cases were recorded among members of the Dumagat community. Of those, six were fatalities.

Vergeire reminded the public to drink only safe and clean water. If unsure, boil water before drinking.

Diarrhea, according to the World Health Organization, is the passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day or more frequent passage than is normal for the individual.

The most severe threat posed by diarrhea is dehydration. WHO said diarrhea should be treated with oral rehydration solution (ORS), a solution of clean water, sugar and salt. 

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