The New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City is where the Philippines most dangerous criminals are incarcerated has been hit with a suspected foodborne illness outbreak that started on May 26 and where more than 1,200 inmates have become ill.

Jail cell/ National Park service

In addition, at least two inmates have died as a result of the outbreak. According to local media, Justice Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said the inmates, both male, have died due to dehydration, hypovolemic shock and Diabetes Type 2.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said, “We are looking into the cause of these diarrheal cases. Hopefully, we can have the results of the tests done by the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) to know what caused the illness.”

The DOH investigation into the cause of the outbreak is centered on the possibility of cholera linked to contaminated water, according to a EpiCore Global Surveillance Project report.

BUCOR (Bureau of Corrections) sources mentioned that possibly the well water was contaminated by seepage of dirty water as the result of the onset of the rainy season.

Medicine, Gatorade and saba bananas have been provided to the prisoners, according to media reports.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Most of those infected will have no or mild symptoms but, in severe cases, the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

The City of Muntinlupa is the southernmost city in Metro Manila Philippine National Capital Region (NCR).