By Roy Ramos
ZAMBOANGA CITY, the Philippines (AA) - At least 11 people have died in the latest widespread cases of diarrhea in the Philippines, after more than 40 were confirmed dead following outbreaks in the country’s south.
An official from the health department told local radio station DZMM on Friday that the 11 fatalities confirmed in central Samar island were among “935 cases registered in different parts of Samar and Leyte".
“We suspect the drinking of contaminated water... the water has no treatment,” said Boyd Cerro, coordinator of the department’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, adding that personal hygiene could have played a role.
News broadcaster ABS-CBN quoted him as saying that authorities had traveled to the affected areas and consulted with municipal health officers, calling for chlorination so water would be safe for consumption.
"The practice here [Samar] is that they don't bring the sick people to hospital or health center until the case becomes serious or somebody dies," he said.
Cerro underlined that an advisory was issued to all towns to monitor water sources and conduct educational campaigns on sanitation.
Last month, officials confirmed that more than 40 people had died in weeks-long diarrhea outbreaks in the country’s south.
Among the recorded fatalities were 22 in Zamboanga City and 23 in the majority Muslim island province of Sulu.
The Department of Health announced that three types of viruses -- rotavirus, norovirus and adenovirus -- were to blame for the outbreak in Zamboanga City.