2 Mitsumi workers test positive for cholera

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Victor Anthony V. Silva February 17,2015 - 11:09 AM

TWO workers of Cebu Mitsumi Inc. in Danao City where a diarrhea outbreak was declared last week tested positive for cholera, a regional health official said yesterday.

Reynan Cimafranca, chief of the Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit (Resu-7), said the two were among the nine who were taken to hospitals and were subjected to rectal swab tests. Two others however, tested negative.

The Department of Health is still awaiting the results of the food and water sample tests as investigation on the incident continues.

The regional office of the Department of Health and the Provincial Health Office (PHO) reported conflicting figures on how many were downed by the bug. The DOH-7 has placed the number at 147 while the PHO sticks to 152.

According to the PHO, 48 were confined to hospitals in Danao and Cebu cities. Two were admitted to the Cebu Provincial Hospital in Danao City while the rest were spread out in different private hospitals in Cebu City.

In a separate briefing, Dr. Cynthia Genosolango, officer-in-charge of the PHO, said the sample taken from one of the patients confined at the Cebu Velez General Hospital manifested growth of what appears to be bacteria that causes cholera, Vibrio cholerae.

The laboratory test results were released yesterday afternoon, although these are still not “definitive”.

“The definitive diagnosis is when we see the bacteria themselves under the microscope,” she told reporters yesterday.

According to Genosolango, bacteria have distinct characteristics and features, seen whether grossly or microscopically.

At the onset of growth of the bacteria from the sample in culture media, they were already manifesting characteristics descriptive of Vibrio cholerae.

E. coli

In another development, a sample taken from Sabang Waterworks tested positive for Escherichia coli (E. coli).

Sabang Waterworks supplies water to an ice vendor across Mitsumi, which health authorities suspect as a probable source of contamination.

A water sample from the ice vendor’s water source, on the other hand, tested positive for fecal organisms.

Two water samples from Mitsumi, taken from a common water fountain and the factory’s own water source, tested negative for any bacteria.

DOH and local authorities earlier suspected ambulant vendors in the vicinity as well.

As quoted by Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera, Genosolango said that further tests will be conducted to determine whether the number of coliform colonies in the water sample can cause infection.

The Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (PESU) has handed over chlorine to the Danao City Health Office to be given to Sabang for immediate chlorination of their water supply.

PESU also advised the ice vendor to refrain from getting water supply from Sabang, now that it tested positive for coliform, and for it to clean its surroundings.

The team also ordered Sabang to check its pipes for leaks and determine how the water supply could have been contaminated.

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TAGS: cholera, Danao, Mitsumi

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