The San Carlos City government in Negros Occidental province declared state of health emergency after reports of an increase in amebiasis cases last week.
San Carlos City Mayor Renato Gustilo said, “alarming concerns on the rising cases of amebiasis,” prompted him to issue Executive Order (EO) No. 79, declaring a state of health of emergency.
Nearly 200 amebiasis cases have been reported in 10 barangays (villages) from January (90) to February (100).
Gustilo said since Tuesday, the City Health Office and the San Carlos City Hospital have been advising residents through social media to be cautious of the surge in amebiasis cases.
EO 79 noted that anyone, young and old, is prone to contracting food and waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid fever and amebiasis.
Amebiasis is a disease caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. It can affect anyone, although it is more common in people who live in tropical areas with poor sanitary conditions.
People mostly get infected with the parasite from ingestion of fecally contaminated food and water containing the amebic cysts. Transmission can also occur through oral-anal contact with a chronically ill or asymptomatic carrier.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about 10% to 20% of people who are infected with E. histolytica become sick from the infection. Of those who do become sick, symptoms may include stomach pain, bloody stools (poop), and fever. Rarely, E. histolytica invades the liver and forms an abscess (a collection of pus). In a small number of instances, it has been shown to spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain, but this is very uncommon.