DOH tracing index case of Norovirus outbreak in ZC PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 11:55

The Department of Health (DOH) said Monday that it is currently tracing the index case of the reported cases of Norovirus in Zamboanga City.

Norovirus, sometimes known as winter vomiting bug in the UK, is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans. It affects people of all ages.

“As of now the tracing of index cases is on-going,” said Health Secretary Janette L. Garin who disclosed that she went in Zamboanga City along with experts from Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and met with chief of hospitals to check the reported rise in cases of diarrhea.

“It was seen that out the 19 samples, 14 turn-out positive for Norovirus,” said Secretary Garin during a press briefing held at DOH media relations unit in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Garin said that with on-going tracing, they want to find out if the virus is also present there or if it was brought from other places due to mobility of people.

“What is important for us at this point in time is to be aggressive in terms of hygiene,” she reminded while the tracing of the causes are still being done.

She said that spreading of the virus can be due to unhygienic practices of defecating wherein no proper cleansing and handwashing are being done.

She further said that virus can also be spread if the one who cooked the foods did not properly wash their hand when they had touched a stool.

She also said that they are also checking the possibility that some water source were also contaminated by stools due to open defecation practice.

As part of that, she said they are also identifying which areas has no toilets yet and there are no proper waste disposal as long-term solutions for the problem.

She added that assessments on other causes were also currently being done.

She added that they had downloaded PHP5 million to assist the hospitalization costs of the patients on top of what Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) covers.