Treat water before drinking, public urged

·1 min read

WITH diarrhea cases expected to rise in Cebu following Typhoon Odette’s onslaught last Dec. 16, health officials in Central Visayas are urging the public to look out for what they drink.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7), said waterborne diseases are among the many diseases to watch out for each time there is a typhoon.

“This is primarily because of the absence of potable water, and at times even this potable water may need treatment prior to use for drinking, like adding chlorine or aqua tablets to ensure that the water content for bacteria is minimized to eliminated,” Loreche told SunStar Cebu.

If aqua or chlorine tablets are not available, then boiling water and letting it simmer for a few more minutes can make this safe for drinking, she added.

“All types of bacteria do not survive a boiling point, and best practices mean after boiling point, continue to heat the water in low to medium temperature for at least 10 minutes more,” Loreche said.

“Of course, we also need to understand sanitation practices as this will have a huge impact on the overall safety of the water,” Loreche added.

Sanitation practices should include that comfort rooms and portable toilets be provided, especially in evacuation centers, and that hand washing is a must.

If water is a problem, at least there should be alcohol hand gels, she said.

On Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, the DOH 7 reported that 16 diarrhea cases have been monitored in Cebu.

The current hospital status of the 16 cases is still being verified.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the cases may have stemmed from water interruptions experienced after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

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