No meningococcemia outbreak in Pateros – health officials
The Pateros health department confirmed on Tuesday that a resident had contracted meningococcemia even as it played down fears of an outbreak of the rare disease in the municipality.
In an earlier statement, Mayor Ike Ponce confirmed that a “young man” was rushed to Ace Hospital on Jan. 4. But he stressed “there [was] currently no indication” that the patient had meningococcemia.
This was later contradicted by San Lazaro Hospital, where the patient had been transferred. Test results released on Tuesday showed that the man was positive for the disease although he was the only known patient from Pateros so far.
As of Wednesday, doctors said the patient’s condition had improved after his fever subsided while there were also fewer rashes on his body.
“He is alive, can already [get] out of bed and talk to hospital personnel,” said the Pateros health department. It added that the patient was expected to make a full recovery “in the coming days.”
In a new statement, Ponce said that residents should not avoid the area of Alley 11 in Santa Ana, Pateros, where the patient lived.
To underscore this, a video of the mayor and other local officials walking around the neighborhood was posted on the municipal government’s Facebook account.
While infectious, meningococcemia can be passed only through direct contact with an infected person, including coughing, sneezing, kissing and the sharing of food, drinks and utensils.
According to the Pateros health department, the bacteria that causes the disease does not live long outside the body and therefore cannot be transmitted through clothes, bed linen and other materials.
Municipal health officials had already taken several measures to stop the spread of the disease, including tracking down all persons who had contact with the patient and giving them preventive medicine.
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