Water-borne illness deaths rise

The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of DoH-8 logged 47 cases of leptospirosis in the region

PALO, Leyte — Fatalities from diseases associated with flood water continue to rise in Eastern Visayas as the Department of Health in the region confirmed eight deaths recorded since January this year.

Latest data from the DoH-8 released on Thursday revealed four persons have died of leptospirosis, three due to cholera and one for dengue in the region from 1 January to 10 March this year and half of the recorded deaths came from Leyte province.

DoH regional information officer Jelyn Lopez, however, clarified that despite the high incidence of ill people, the numbers are still below the alert and epidemic thresholds.

“The number of cases is already going down for the WILD diseases,” said Lopez, comparing the surge in January up to the first week of February.

WILD stands for water-borne diseases, influenza, leptospirosis and dengue which are all associated with rains and flooding.

The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of DoH-8 logged 47 cases of leptospirosis in the region — 24 of them in Leyte with one death, five cases in Eastern Samar with one death, 14 in Samar with two deaths and four cases in Northern Samar.

Suspected cholera cases in the region also continue to rise with 1,120 cases already recorded until 10 March, with four cases found to be confirmed cholera based on laboratory tests conducted at the Eastern Visayas Medical Center.

Among the provinces in the region, Leyte recorded 170 cases with two deaths, 452 cases in Eastern Samar, 404 cases in Samar including one casualty, 53 cases in Northern Samar, and 41 in Southern Leyte.

Leyte province also recorded the highest number of dengue cases in the region over the same period and out of the 795 cases logged at RESU, 342 of them are from Leyte including the only fatality from the disease while Northern Samar had 126 cases, Samar with 123, 79 cases in Eastern Samar, 75 in Southern Leyte and 50 cases in Biliran.

Lopez stressed that the DoH-8 is doing advocacy activities, technical assistance, logistics augmentation, and capacity building in all provinces in Eastern Visayas to help stop the further spread of infection.

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