March 3, 2024

Following the outbreak of acute gastroenteritis in Baguio City, the province of Benguet is currently conducting mass testing of its water sources.

Gov. Melchor Diclas has ordered the Provincial Health Office to conduct the mass testing as some of those affected by the acute gastroenteritis are from the province.

In the report of the Baguio City Health Services Office, there are 173 cases of individuals out of the more than 1,600 cases listed in the city affected by the outbreak, coming from the nearby towns of Benguet.

“The PHO is currently doing follow up testing for those affected by the outbreak,” Diclas said.  

Diclas has urged the public to properly boil water before drinking them, even those coming from refills, as well as those used in making ice.  

He said food sanitation should also be practiced especially for food establishments.

The PHO echoed Diclas’ advice, saying boiling is the surest method to kill disease-causing germs, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

It added that one can improve the flat taste of boiled water by pouring it from one container to another and then allowing it to stand for a few hours or by adding a pinch of salt for each quart or liter of boiled water.

The PHO also urged every household to use bottled water for drinking and to bring their own water when eating outside. They also advised food establishments to provide bottled water for their customers.

Everyone is advised to immediately proceed to the nearest healthcare facility in their area if loose bowel movement is experienced with or without the following signs and symptoms: bloody or not bloody stool, fever, vomiting, body malaise or feeling of weakness, nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain, headache, and dehydration.

On Jan. 10, the city government announced an outbreak after the CHSO received reports of more than 1,600 incidents with 218 affected establishments and 80 households. – Ofelia C. Empian