PN file photo

Health authorities in El Nido are monitoring the town’s drinking water sources and food establishments after some 215 cases of diarrhea were recorded from March 22 to May 12.

Dr. Christy Andaya, DOH MIMAROPA medical officer IV, said in a virtual press briefing Monday that the cases involved mostly female patients.

“‘Yong 215 cases po na ito ay sa El Nido. Nakita ito sa mga kababaihan aging 1 month to 75 years old. [Ang] symptoms na nakita ay pagdudumi ng matubig, tatlo hanggang apat na beses sa mag-hapon,” Andaya said, stating further that there is no outbreak because the number is cumulative from a few months.

Andaya said that diarrhea is a condition that mostly affects children who experience LBM, abdominal pain, cough, dizziness, and fever that may lead to death due to dehydration.

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Aside from the testing of water samples, she said they also conducted food safety training to ensure prevent contamination within the town.

“Nag-test na po tayo sa sample ng pasyente, tubig na iniinom nila, ground water source, food safety training lalo na doon sa mga tindahan at kainin na pinagkukunan nila ng pagkain [para masigurado na hindi na contaminated ang kakainin o iinumin nila,” she said.

They are yet to determine if water samples sent to testing will be able to trace the source of contamination.

Dr. Andaya did not respond categorically to a separate inquiry through the local health office of the Department of Health (DOH) about the results of the water testing, instead stating that they also consulted the region’s Environmental and Occupational Health Cluster (EOHC) because it is also an environmental concern.

“According to Engr. Nillete Fidel ito po yung answer niya: Regarding the monitoring of the drinking water sources in the area, including the water refilling stations, this was done regularly by the LGU through their local health office. However, water is not just the only concern they are looking into, lalo na tourist destination ang El Nido, and maraming inter-island activities being done. So isa sa tinitingnan din ng LGU is the food safety, particularly sa mga boat operators in the area and other food operators. Maganda din makuha ang input ng LGU as they also have the regulatory functions and police power over these operators,” Dr. Andaya said.

She also advised the public to practice frequent hand washing, proper hygiene, proper waste disposal, and avoid eating street foods.

Tourists have also been advised to drink bottled water.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.