COTABATO CITY, Philippines – It was cholera, not diarrhea as earlier reported, that killed on Sunday a male patient, who was among 68 residents admitted at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center here, following last week’s outbreak in a Maguindanao fishing village that left two people dead and dozens sick.
Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr., health secretary for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said the death of a 33-year old fisherman from Bongo Island in Parang, Maguindanao came four days after a three-year old girl died of severe vomiting and loose bowel movement in Tokamaror, a sub-village of Bongo.
“He died of dehydration,” said Sinolinding of the second fatality.
Dr. Tahir Sulaik, Maguindanao health chief, said rain-induced floodwaters carrying animal and human wastes could have contaminated the villagers’ deep wells and other sources of drinking water, causing the ailment, which was first suspected as diarrhea.
CRMC physicians have accounted a total of 68 patients, mostly children (51), who underwent stool tests that confirmed them to be positive for cholera.
Sualik said efforts to contain the spread of the disease are being undertaken with the collaboration of local leaders and water experts on providing safe potable water to Bongo residents.
Health department officials assured there were enough medicines and technical assistance to patients for their early recovery.