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Parasites await summer bathers in Pasig River

/ 01:18 AM April 27, 2012

As Metro Manila sizzled in the summer heat Thursday, the Department of Health (DoH) warned city residents against swimming in the Pasig River.

DoH spokesman Eric Tayag said the river remained polluted and that those who brave its waters can come down with various diseases, from diarrhea to encephalitis.

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“We urge them not to swim there,” Tayag, also head of the DoH’s epidemiology center, said in an interview. “They can get sick. They can get exposed to dirty water.”

“They can get encephalitis from parasites that enter through our eyes, nose, mouth,” Tayag added.

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He said other diseases that swimmers could get include diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, Hepatitis B, respiratory diseases, dehydration and allergies.

He urged city residents to instead go to public swimming pools, and suggested that barangays (villages) could organize trips to resorts that charge affordable entrance fees.

“They should go there. Let us not allow children to jump into dirty waters. Remind them not to swim in these waters,” Tayag said.

Temperatures in Metro Manila reached 36.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

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TAGS: Environmental Issues, Health, Pasig River, Philippines – Metro
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