Diarrhea from dirty water has killed 9 in Zamboanga City since March
Roel Pareño (Philstar.com) - May 4, 2016 - 2:10am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Diarrhea caused by contaminated water has killed nine people in Zamboanga City so far, health officials said.

The Department of Health regional office for the Zamboanga Peninsula also corrected its earlier report that the diarrhea outbreak was caused by a norovirus, a coomon cause of gastroenteritis.

“The National Epidemiology Bureau from central office that conducted the investigation found out it is a severe rotavirus outbreak,” said Dr. Agnes Mabolo, acting chief of DOH-9's local health support unit.

Mabolo said about 65 percent of the collected water samples tested positive for fecal matter.

“The main contaminant -- the sole contaminant is water. It is the water that is contaminated,” Mabolo added.

It will be recalled that water rationing has been implemented in the city since January due to the dry spell brought about by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

City Health Officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos reported the gastroenteritis outbreak has already claimed 9 lives and has downed 1,539 people from March to late April.

Mabolo said that number does not include 400 inmates also affected by diarrhea.

She said there is already a decrease in the number of diarrhea patients admitted to hospitals.

According to the World Health Organization, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old,  especially if the patient is malnourished. Diarrhea, which can be caused by gastrointestinal disease of irritation, can kill through excessive dehydration. 

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