In an update of the gastrointestinal disease outbreak in the Eastern Visayas provinces of Samar and Leyte, DOH regional director Minerva P. Molon said that to date, a total of 4, 277 persons were afflicted with 47 deaths.  The province of Samar remains to have the highest number of cases with a total of 2,414 with 35 deaths.

Image/CIA cropped
Image/CIA cropped

The most affected municipalities are: Calbiga with 343 cases; Sta. Rita (335 cases); Catbalogan City(329 cases); Basey with 238 cases; Zumarraga with 219 cases; Tarangnan(195 cases ); and Paranas with 160 cases.

Molon has advised the public to ensure the use of safe and clean water, ‘if unsure, boil water for three minutes before drinking and see to it that storage reservoir and water tanks are regularly cleansed.”

In Northern Samar, DOH Team Leader, Dr. Rommel Francisco said as of June 19, 1,651 cases were recorded as of June 19, all over 24 municipalities.

Poor sanitation and water contamination particularly in areas or barangays with open sources of water were most likely found to be the cause of diarrhea.

In response to the rising cases of diarrhea in some towns of Samar province, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) installed a water treatment facility in Calbiga town.

Jorge Acuna from PRC said that they will supply safe and potable water in Calbiga until the end of June, this year.

The so called treatment facility is beside the municipal hall – there are two ‘bladders’ that can contain 10 thousand liters of water and these are connected to a hose and to six tapstands where rural folks take turns in getting free clean, safe and potable water.