In a follow-up to the acute gastroenteritis outbreak that began at the end of  March, city officials say the outbreak has slowed dramatically from it’s peak just weeks ago.

Zamboanga map/Howard the Duck
Zamboanga map/Howard the Duck

A gastroenteritis outbreak was declared in Zamboanga last April 25.

Through May 14, 2,324 acute gastroenteritis (AGE) cases have been hospitalized throughout city hospitals, an increase in about 250 in nearly a week. This is down from 600 cases a week reported at the peak of the outbreak.

The death toll from the outbreak has reached 19, primarily in young children. Eight fatalities suffered from co-morbidities such as pneumonia, malnutrition, meningitis and myocardial infarction, according to city health officials.

Dr. Ivy Iturralde, chief of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit at the CHO said  the water shortage problem brought about by the long dry spell results to poor sanitation, exposing the residents to potentially contaminated water. In the midst of water crisis in the city, it remains a challenge to advocate good hygiene and sanitation practices to the residents much more on highlighting the importance of hand washing and washing of fruits and vegetables as well as water disinfection, she stressed.