The outbreak of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) caused by at least three viruses, rotavirus, adenovirus and norovirus, in the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga has grown to some 3,000 cases since it began in late March.
In addition, the death toll in “Asia’s Latin City” is now at 22.
According to city health officials, the hardest hit barangays include Calarian (166), Tetuan (164), Sta. Catalina (147), San Roque (144), Tumaga (138), Talon-Talon (132), Mampang (118), Tugbungan (110), Sta. Maria (104), and Guiwan (89).
According to a GMA News report, City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos said tests conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) revealed the presence of rotavirus and adenovirus, along with the earlier suspected norovirus, in the patients.
“We are not only dealing with one kind of virus, there are still other viruses. Actually, some of the patients, we are seeing two of viruses in one patient,” Agbulos said.
In addition, city health officials report the presence of fecal coliforms in the water sources prompting chlorination and disinfection.
Other actions taken were distribution of chlorine tablet to people who have deep wells, coordination with the Department of Health, public awareness on the increasing AGE cases, and conducting a 5-year review of AGE admitted cases in other hospitals in the city to establish the baseline value of AGE occurrence.