Hepa A downs 43 in Abuyog village
GOV’T CENTER, Palo, Leyte – Forty-three people, several of them children, were downed by Hepatitis A in a Leyte town with dirty food blamed as the main cause.
Boyd Cerro, regional sentinel nurse of the Department of Health, said that all the victims experienced physical weakness; vomiting and jaundice (yellow skin).
The 43 victims of Hepatitis A were all residents of Barangay Barayong which is located within the town proper of Abuyog, Leyte.
Cerro said that of the 43 people who were suffering from Hepatitis A, which is an oral-fecal disease attributed to a contaminated food or drinking water, 30 of them were taken blood samples.
Also, 35 of the victims were aged five to 14 years.
Many of them were given medical treatment at the Abuyog District Hospital and some hospitals in Tacloban City.
According to Cerro, the ailment was fist noticed last April 14 with two cases and continued to increase until last July.
The health official said that it took some time for the ailment to be totally detected considering that the virus has incubation period of 50 days.
Cerro also said that based on their initial investigation, the disease could have been spread through a dirty street food. In fact, three of the victims were the ambulant vendor themselves, he added.
“That is why, we are calling the ambulant vendors to observe personal hygiene for proper food handling,” Cerro said.
He advised the public to always observe proper personal hygiene like washing of hands, especially after using the bathroom.
Based on the World Health Organization (WHO), hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus.
The virus is primarily spread when an uninfected and unvaccinated person digests food or water that is contaminated with the feces of an infected person. The disease is closely associated with a lack of safe water, inadequate sanitation and poor personal hygiene, the WHO added.
The virus is transmitted through the oral-fecal route but can also be transmitted through a close physical contact with an infectious person, the WHO said.
Cerro said that while the disease could easily be spread, it is not considered to cause death unless in extreme cases. (JOEY A. GABIETA)
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