Mayor Evelio Leonardia held an emergency meeting yesterday to immediately contain a food and waterborne diseases outbreak in Barangay Handumanan, Bacolod City.
The Bacolod City Health Office confirmed the outbreak after 145 Handumanan residents, mostly pupils of Handumanan Elementary School 1, were admitted to several Bacolod hospitals due to suspected food poisoning.
As of yesterday, the patients suffering from stomachaches, loose bowel movement and vomiting were admitted to public and private hospitals of Bacolod City, but eleven patients had already been discharged, Dr. Ma Carmela Gensoli, City Health Officer, said.
Dr. Grace Tan, head of the CHO Environmental Sanitation Division, said the situation is considered an outbreak due to the big number of food and waterborne disease cases since Oct. 14.
The mayor yesterday instructed the CHO and the DepEd to conduct a seminar on food safety and proper food handling to all canteen operators and ambulant vendors in all 46 elementary and 22 secondary public schools in Bacolod.
The meeting was attended by representatives from CHO, DOH-Development Management Office, DepEd Bacolod, CLMMRH department heads and local government officials.
Gensoli said patients were admitted to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Bacolod Adventist Medical Center, Inc. (BAMCI or Sanitarium Hospital), The Doctors' Hospital, and South Bacolod General Hospital, and also said that two of the children admitted were positive of cholera.
The CHO has conducted water sampling from four sources in the area, including the source of ice used in juices that were sold to the students, for bacteriological examination, she said.
The CHO is also waiting for the laboratory results of the stool examination of the patients to determine the cause of the illness.
Dr. Mary Johnson Cabaluna of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital said two of the children admitted tested positive for cholera and she recommended that all of the children that were admitted, including those already discharged, be treated for cholera.
Councilor Em Ang distributed gallons of purified water to the watchers of the patients and Rep. Greg Gasataya gave diapers. The Bacolod DSSD also distributed food packs.
The DOH-Regional Office will also give supplies of medicines until all the patients suffering the illness have recovered.
Classes in Handumanan Elementary School 1 and 2 are suspended today and the CHO and DepEd will start conducting the seminar next week, in time for the semestral break.*MLG
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