Dumaguete City ? Seven persons have died in the City of Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, 116 km north of here, while scores of others were hospitalized over a diarrhea and vomiting epidemic, as an aftermath of the rains caused by Typhoon Frank.
Guihulngan Mayor Ernesto Reyes said up to eight of his barangays have been severely affected.
?These are mostly in the coastal areas, where people have their own water wells,? he said.
Reyes blamed the diarrhea outbreak on the heavy rains that fell over northern Negros island recently.
?We've seen this before. It happens every now and then especially during the rainy season, where typhoid and other water-borne diseases are present? he said.
Water from the city's water district tested positive for contamination and health workers are targeting their educational campaign on open water wells.
?Last week, daghan gyud ang naadmit sa hospital pero under control na ang sitwasyon karon,(last week, several persons were hospitalized but the situation is under control now,? Reyes said in a telephone interview.
The diarrhea outbreak, however, is not only confined to the City of Guihulngan but also in the neighboring City of Canlaon and the towns of Valle Hermoso, La Libertad, Jimalalud and Tayasan, Reyes said.
The Department of Health has sent personnel from their regional office to Guihulngan in response to the appeal for help by the city government. They are testing the City's water sources like rivers, spring, and water wells for disease-causing bacteria.
?Now, we have contained it and we're doing everything we can. We buy Oresol, destrose, and all the necessary things,? Reyes said.
The City has also embarked on an information drive to inform the people of the need to boil their water before drinking.
Reyes said that the biggest obstacle is that people say boiled water loses its flavor. Alex Pal