CHD orders spraying in village

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

ALTHOUGH it was unable to confirm if the child in Barangay Pulangbato died of meningococcemia last Sunday, the Cebu City Health Department (CHD) ordered the spraying of antiseptic in the village where the girl’s family lives.

CHD Chief Daisy Villa stressed, though, that taking prescribed antibiotics is the more effective way to avoid infection.

She said the family of the one-year-and-six-month-old girl and those who got in close contact with the child were given antibiotics as prophylaxis.


The child was brought to the North General Hospital (not South General Hospital as earlier reported) and transferred to the Perpetual Succour Hospital where she died.


Villa said the case could not be confirmed as meningococcemia because the child was immediately buried.

The child’s death certificate states that she died of multiple organ failure due to meningococcemia.

But Villa said a series of tests needs to be made before making the conclusion. She added that a blood sample or any fluid from the body of the patient is needed for the confirmatory tests.

“We can no longer perform the tests because it would be too risky to dig the decomposing body of the child,” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

The disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides, which is spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs.

Villa urged the public, especially neighbors of the child’s family, to visit the barangay health center when they have fever.

Symptoms of meningococcemia include fever, cough, colds, headache, nausea and muscle pain. In worse cases, rashes and stiffness in the neck may be felt.

The CHD assigned personnel to the Pulangbato Barangay Health Center to monitor residents.

Villa said there is a two- to 10-day incubation period for symptoms to appear.

She said the earlier the infection is detected, the better.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 13, 2014.

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