Danao City Cholera outbreak, Health exec confirms water contamination
Jessa Agua (The Freeman) - February 18, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The government-owned water system serving two barangays in Danao City, Cebu where cholera recently broke out tested positive for contamination.

Samples taken by the Department of Health-Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit 7 showed that the water residents of Barangays Sabang and Maslog are drinking has fecal coliform, one of the most common microbiological contaminants of natural waters.

Fecal coliform bacteria live in intestines of warm-blooded animals such as human, pets, farm animals and wildlife and is particularly present in human waste.

RESU-7 yesterday said its investigation pointed to the local water system as the possible source of contamination that caused the cholera outbreak inside the Cebu Mitsumi factory in Danao.

“Ang katong nagbaligya sa ice nga gigamit sa sago gulaman nga gibaligya atubangan sa Mitsumi, tubig gikan ato ang gigamit. Ang mga balay gani nga consumers ani dili man muinom sa gripo,” said Chief Epidemiologist Rennan Cimafranca.

The water source of the city-run Sabang-Maslog water system is located a kilometer away from the shoreline.

Cimafranca said the water is sourced from well using an electric pump, but the said well has an open well beside it where contaminants can enter and infect the shared water table.

RESU and Provincial Health Office personnel who inspected the area also noted leaking service pipes.

Cimafranca also noted that the water source is located just nine meters from a comfort room with a septic tank that once served as a deep well.

“We learned that the septic tank used to be a well. So posible nga usa sad ni sa problema. With this, we advised the local officials to temporarily cover the open well while we are treating the water source,” he said.

Following the outbreak, the chlorine concentration of the water system’s chlorinator was increased. The average concentration of residual chlorine is 0.6 parts per million (PPM), enough to treat minimal contamination, but this was raised to 0.8 PPM.

“With the situation, dili layo nga magka-amoebiases cases; which is why we are treating the water. Once contaminated, this does not mean dili ni mawala,” Cimafranca said.

The internal water system of Mitsumi has been cleared as it tested negative of any form of contamination.

Last week, over 200 of the 18,000 employees of Cebu Mitsumi complained of diarrhea, with two of them testing positive for cholera.— (FREEMAN)

BARANGAYS SABANG AND MASLOG CEBU MITSUMI CHIEF EPIDEMIOLOGIST RENNAN CIMAFRANCA CIMAFRANCA DANAO CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH-REGIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGY AND SURVEILLANCE UNIT MITSUMI PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICE WATER
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