Possible water contamination in Davao Occidental town downs 33, one dead

Jan. 04, 2021

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A diarrhea outbreak claimed the life of an elderly man while 33 individuals were hospitalized in a remote village in Jose Abad Santos town on Davao Occidental.

The town mayor Jason John Joyce confirmed this on his Facebook account on Sunday, identifying the fatality as 68-year old Emilor Sumanday of Barangay Butuan.

Joyce believed the outbreak in Brgy. Butuan was caused by water contamination, as the village does not have a safe water source and most of the residents rely on its drinking water from a deep well or spring which could have been contaminated.

“Yung lugar po kasi namin (Our place) is considered as geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. Wala pong water district sa buong locality. Either sa poso po or direct source sa mga spring or rivers, (There’s no water district in the whole locality, so the people either source their water from wells or directly from springs or rivers.” Joyce said.

The mayor also clarified that the death of Sumanday is not COVID-19 related since the town has no reported case and is implementing strict health protocols.

The Department of Health Region 11 has provided medicines and intravenous fluid to the town’s Tomas Lachica District Hospital where the patients are admitted and are closely monitoring the health of 25 persons.

DOH 11 has also provided jerry cans for water storage and chlorine granules for water treatment to the affected barangay, while the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) is collecting specimens in the water sources for investigation with the Provincial Health Office. (davaotoday.com)

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