SOME 319 residents in Caraga, Davao Oriental were affected by diarrhea outbreak, the Municipal Health Office reported.
The MHO said of the total number, 313 were from Bgy. Santiago.
MHO head Dr. Chris Anthony Limen said they suspected the outbreak was caused by contaminated water due to weeks of non-stop rains.
Village officials believed that busted pipes and floodings have polluted the water source in the village.
Limen warned villagers on drinking water from the faucets. He advised them to drink distilled or purified water instead.
The local government has sent a team from the Provincial Health Office to respond to the diarrhea outbreak.
Provincial health officer Dr. Reden Bersaldo said Caraga has set up a makeshift mini-hospital at an evacuation center and the Rural Health Unit of the town to cater to patients.
The makeshift hospital was previously used as a COVID-19 quarantine facility, which has been converted into an infirmary for those stricken with diarrhea.
Bersaldo said those severely-dehydrated patients were brought to the Davao Oriental Provincial Hospital in the neighboring town of Manay for further treatment.
According to him, tests will be done in the next few days to rule out cholera as a causative agent and to find out the main source of infection.
Caraga councilor and Local Health Board chairman Gerry Dumaan Jr. said it was the first time this kind of outbreak happened in their town.
“This is worst than the pandemic,” he said as the number of patients continue to rise.
Intravenous fluids and other medical supplies have been sent to the town while ambulances and additional healthcare workers are on standby to assist the patients.
The youngest diarrhea patient reported was a three-month-old baby.
Meanwhile, residents of Bgy. Santiago who can’t afford to buy distilled or purified water were told to boil water from the faucets for at least 20 minutes before drinking it.
In October last year, a diarrhea outbreak also hit Caraga town, affecting 80 residents, with one positive for cholera.
In the nearby Manay municipality, six residents also died due to the disease.