Hepatitis A outbreak declared in Iloilo town; 18 infected
Posted March 19, 2010on:
By Anna Valmero
First Posted 13:21:00 03/18/2010
Filed Under: Health, Diseases
MANILA, Philippines – Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral declared Thursday an outbreak of hepatitis A in Sara town of Iloilo province, after the disease infected 18 persons there.
“About 18 of the 28 suspected cases are confirmed to have hepatitis A. They are now undergoing home treatment and we expect them to get well in three to four weeks,” said Cabral.
Doctor Eric Tayag, National Epidemiology Center (NEC) director, told reporters that of the 28 suspected cases – 15 students from Pitogo High School, 8 pupils of Pitogo Elementary School, three mothers and two out-of-school youth – 18 were confirmed to have been infected of hepatitis A.
“We received the reports of suspected hepatitis cases on March 1 and we have already dispatched a team to investigate the cause of the outbreak. Since the victims are students, we are looking to contaminated water sources since hepatitis A is caused by fecal contamination of water,” said Tayag.
Reports of the cause of the outbreak would be made available by next week, he said.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include brown urine, malaise, and pale under eyes.
Residents of Sara town are advised to boil their drinking water and practice hygiene, said Cabral.