September 19, 2022 -According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cholera is a highly contagious disease that can result in severe acute watery diarrhea, which affects both children and adults and can lead to death if untreated.

Cholera effects after consuming contaminated food or drink, symptoms don’t usually appear for 5-12 days; most people infected with Vibrio Cholera do not develop any symptoms, although the bacteria are present in their feces for 1-10 days after infection and are shed back into the environment, potentially can infect others.

Further research by WHO estimates that there are 1.3 to 4 million cases and 21,000 to 143,000 of which are records of death caused by the disease.

Most of these infected experience asymptomatic or mild symptomatic conditions; it can still be successfully treated with oral rehydration solutions.

This disease is treatable; despite its deadly quality, there’s no need to alarm that much, an individual must observe only proper precautions and treatment for prevention, where the majority of people can be treated successfully through appropriate dosage from prescribed medications of oral rehydration solutions (ORS).

In 1961, a study by Joseph, et al., entitled “Studies of Cholera El Tor in the Philippines: A Retrospective Investigation of an Explosive Outbreak in Bacolod City and Talisay.” Cholera was introduced into many islands of the Philippines, and the first record of cholera in Bacolod City and Talisay in Negros Occidental took place on November 1961, producing 330 cases during the first week.

The researchers stated in the study that, as observed by health officers in the Philippines, the root cause of the cholera outbreak was principally transmitted by consuming raw shrimp, particularly small shrimp called hipon or alamang.

Also in October 2016, a case of cholera outbreak took place in Handumanan Elementary School 1 where it is described as a “food and waterborne-disease outbreak”, yet it was clarified by the City Health Office (CHO) that the case was due to cholera.

Patients with cholera report tingling in their extremities, hoarse voices, weakness, and severe dehydration as signs of the illness that appear 24 to 48 hours after consuming infected food or water.

And just this month, a 37-year-old female resident of Bacolod City tested positive for Vibrio Cholera; the patient was shown symptoms such as severe dehydration due to several watery stools and vomiting.

The patient was diagnosed at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) and was discharged in good condition after five days.

In this case, the CHO and the Department of Health (DOH) remind the masses to observe specific measures for cholera prevention, such as:

Use of safe, potable water for drinking, which can be availed in your nearest water refilling stations with updated bacteriological monitoring of their water and permits, also by ensuring that water pipes or hose from water source has no holes or bandages as contamination may seep in and make sure that water plates are not broken.

The water source should be at least 25 meters from other sources of contaminants- toilets, garbage, etc. Chlorination should be done regularly, and dug wells should be tightly covered.

Defecation in the open is severely discouraged.

Every home is required to have its own toilet; as long as sanitation is maintained, sharing might be permitted.

All wastes should be disposed of in a concrete septic vault rather than in any creeks, canals, rivers, or other bodies of water.

Observe proper handwashing.

Know your food source and avoid eating raw meat, seafood and contaminated vegetables.

The CHO and DHO continue to monitor cases from community and hospitals as a new case emerges in the city, taking into account the clustering of cases in a certain area/Barangay, undertaking water tests, and engaging in health education.
Recommends and promotes their implementation, particularly about health and sanitation, through the Sanitation Inspectors, and works with the Barangay Council to control water refilling stations that are not adhering to legal standards.
(Source: Bacolod Public Information Office)

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