Diarrhea downs 39 in Cotabato; ‘pamanhikan’ feast food blamed
KIDAPAWAN CITY—Diarrhea downed 39 residents from the remote villages of Matalam town in Cotabato province after they feasted on food contaminated with a parasite during a traditional “pamalayi” (pamanhikan), the Filipino custom of a family of a would-be groom proposing a wedding to a girl’s family in Barangay Santa Maria.
Matalam Vice Mayor Ralph Ryan Rafael said the symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea emerged only on Saturday, days after the gathering on Wednesday.
The victims, close relatives of two Ilonggo clans about to be joined by the wedding, came from Catmon, Alimodian, Minamaing, and Sta. Maria villages.
They are now being observed and recovering at the Arakan District Hospital in Cotabato after being found positive for amoebiasis, Rafael said on Sunday.
He said laboratory results from stool samples of the victims confirmed the presence of the parasite Entamoeba Histolytica, that causes amoebiasis.
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