Suspected meningo disease kills 2 in Catbalogan City

January 6, 2015 11:24 pm 

PALO, Leyte, Jan. 6 –- A suspected meningococcemia disease hit the capital of Samar province, killing a 33-year-old father and a five-month-old baby on Sunday, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed.

Roderick Boyd Cerro, chief of the DOH regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said that victims were from Mercedes and Salog villages of Catbalogan City, the capital of Samar province.

The baby girl succumbed to the disease while on her way to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City. Another victim died on Sunday after a two-day confinement inside the regional health facility.

“All clinical manifestations showed that the victims died of meningococcemia, but we still have to wait for confirmatory tests,” Cerro said.

The DOH has been providing medicines to those who had contacts with victims to prevent spread of the fatal disease.

Panicked, some residents of Catbalogan City used surgical masks to protect them from the fatal disease and some have been buying antibiotics to increase their resistance, according to Cerro.

“It is not necessary to wear masks since meningococcemia is not an air-borne disease. It is being transmitted through direct contact with discharges from nose and throat from an infected person,” he explained to reporters.

The official also discouraged residents to take medicines not prescribed by doctors.

Instead, he urged the public to regularly wash their hands and observe proper respiratory etiquette.

The disease is caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitides that can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets.

The symptoms meningococcemia include high fever, headache, stiff neck, drowsiness, dizziness, convulsions, vomiting, unstable vital signs, coughing, and rashes. (PNA)

FFC/SQM/SSC

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