DOH: Diarrhea cases hike in Baguio under probe

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) is assisting the Baguio City government in the management and control of diarrhea cases in the area.

This was after Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong declared an outbreak of the disease on Wednesday.

The DOH, through its Epidemiology Bureau, said the increase in diarrhea cases started last Dec. 21, 2023 based on the preliminary findings of the Baguio City Health Office.

A Center for Health Development-Cordillera Administrative Region report show that a total of 308 diarrhea cases were recorded from Dec. 21, 2023 to Jan. 7, 2024.

About 11 of these cases were admitted to surrounding hospitals. Their ages range from 3 months to 92 years. There were no reported deaths.

“Diarrhea (loose and watery stools) is usually associated with either water- or food-borne causative agents,” the DOH said. “Always use clean water for drinking, preparing drinks, cooking, washing eating and cooking utensils, brushing teeth, and washing the hands and face.”

Water testing is ongoing in the city.

READ: Baguio declares acute gastroenteritis outbreak

Residents in affected areas will be provided access to clean, potable water while waiting for the final result of the ongoing epidemiologic investigation.

“Water may be boiled for two minutes (start timer after water comes to a rolling boil). The use of chlorine-based water disinfection solution or tablets, if available in health centers, is also recommended,” the DOH said.

Any change in color or odor of household tap water must be reported immediately.

“In case of loose or watery stools, the first aid is to ensure hydration. Drink replacement fluids like clean water, ideally with oral rehydration solution (Oresol) and consult a doctor,” it added.

To guide the public on other measures such as food safety practices, the Baguio City Health Office will issue updates and health advisories. (PNA)