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BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Acute gastroenteritis cases in Baguio City hit 2,199 before noon on Thursday, January 11, according to the City Health Services Office (CHSO).
Of the number of cases, 45 people had been hospitalized.
Acting City Health Officer Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes said that the majority of cases emerged between January 2 and 8.
Of the 492 affected individuals who sought medical consultation, 64.4% are still exhibiting symptoms. Based on local government data, 63.6% of the patients had eaten at food establishments, 13.2% consumed takeout food, 11.2% had home-cooked meals, and the 12% cited other causes.
The geographic spread of the cases is extensive, with 218 from outside Baguio, 204 from neighboring towns, and significant numbers from barangays Bakakeng Norte, Irisan, and Camp 7.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who declared a gastroenteritis outbreak in the city the day before, expressed optimism that the health issue would be contained, citing safety and preventive measures implemented across the city’s food establishments and households.
He also highlighted ongoing efforts to test water samples from various suspected sources.
Brillantes confirmed that one sample from an establishment tested positive for bacterial contamination.
In response to the outbreak, the Sanitation Division of the CHSO and the Baguio Water District have intensified inspections of water sources, especially in affected establishments.
The Department of Health (DOH) has also stepped in, collaborating with the Baguio City Government to manage the situation.
“Pending the final results of the epidemiologic investigation, we will ensure access to clean, potable water for the affected communities,” the DOH said.
Following the outbreak, health officials advised residents to do the following:
- Avoid consuming service water or using ice in drinks at restaurants
- If experiencing symptoms, fill out the “Food and Water-Related Illness Self Reporting Form” available via QR code, which will aid in tracking and managing the outbreak
- Wash hands regularly, especially before eating and after using the restroom
- Be alert for symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If these symptoms occur, seek immediate medical attention. – Rappler.com