Four people have died from typhoid fever while over 600 other cases have been reported in Tuburan town in Cebu, the top provincial health official said.
Almost all of the 54 villages of Tuburan, 96.7 kilometers northwest of Cebu City, were affected by the typhoid outbreak, the town’s mayor, Democrito Diamante, said in an interview yesterday.
The municipal council declared a state of calamity on Friday so it could use its calamity fund to provide medical attention to the stricken residents.
Dr. Cristina Giango, chief of the Integrated Provincial Health Office, said in a press conference that 646 cases of the water-borne disease were reported by hospitals. At Tuburan District Hospital, 109 were admitted while Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City had 14 other patients.
Giango said she had already sent two doctors and nine nurses to help the medical staff of Tuburan District Hospital.
Diamante said he and the health officials believed that the outbreak was caused by water contamination after last month’s 6.9-magnitude earthquake, which might have damaged water pipes.
Eight of the villages have the same water source of water, the mayor said.
Diamante said he had ordered the chlorination of all five water sources of the municipality and urged residents to boil their drinking water.
He said bottled water had been sent to schools so students would not drink water from the faucets.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who was in Cebu yesterday, pledged to give P10 million for the rehabilitation of the water system, Diamante said. He said a master plan was being prepared and expected to be finished within a month.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia sent the Water Task Force from the Provincial Planning and Development Office to Tuburan to check the pipelines. She also promised to extend P5,000 assistance to each family of the victims who had died from typhoid fever. Jhunnex Napallacan, Inquirer Visayas