DOH blames deworming text hoax for students’ hospitalization
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - August 7, 2015 - 10:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Department of Health yesterday blamed hoax text messages for the increase in the number of students hospitalized after a deworming program at schools in the Zamboanga peninsula.

Josua Brilliantes, who heads the local health unit, said the result of an investigation conducted by Bureau of Epidemiology director Rio Magpantay showed the parents brought their children to hospitals after receiving those text messages.

“Due to the text scare, even those children who did not experience symptoms were brought by their parents to hospitals,” Brilliantes said.

Earlier reports said 1,249 students were hospitalized in Zamboanga del Sur, 2,800 in Zamboanga del Norte and 17 in Zamboanga City after taking deworming tablets.

Brilliantes assured the public that the deworming tablets were not expired and the teachers who assisted the health workers in administering them were properly oriented.

He said hospitals were also ready to address possible adverse effects.

Health Secretary Janette Garin had said stomach pain  is a normal effect of the deworming tablet. 

The DOH has called on parents and school and local health officials to continue the program, which is effective in reducing soil-transmitted helminthiasis infections.

BRILLIANTES BUREAU OF EPIDEMIOLOGY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DEWORMING HEALTH HEALTH SECRETARY JANETTE GARIN JOSUA BRILLIANTES NORTE RIO MAGPANTAY ZAMBOANGA ZAMBOANGA CITY
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