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DOH on high alert on spread of ‘meningococcemia’ virus

Following the untimely death of a 4-year-old boy due to meningococcemia, the DOH advised the public to be vigilant of the disease. (Photo TV grabbed by Ricky Bautista)

Following the untimely death of a 4-year-old boy due to meningococcemia, the DOH advised the public to be vigilant of the disease. (Photo TV grabbed by Ricky Bautista)

CATBALOGAN CITY – A Department of Health official on Tuesday warned the public to be on high alert for the possible recurrence of Meningococcemia virus in the country following the death of 4-year-old boy in Marikina Monday night.

The boy died at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center in Marikina City few hours after he brought there for medical treatment.

National Epidemiology Center head Dr. Enrique Tayag quickly issued warning to the public to take extra precautions and send children with symptoms of meningococcemia to the hospital as soon as possible.

In Eastern Samar, a young boy from Oras town who was earlier diagnosed to have been afflicted with meningococcemia disease is now recovering.

The boy, identified only in his initials AP, from Sitio Calawit, Barangay San Roque of Oras town, Eastern Samar was first confined at Oras District Hospital (ODH) in Eastern Samar.

He was then later transpired to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City for a thorough examination. He was now recovering and responding to medicines, health officials said.

The DOH in Eastern Visayas advised the people in the village where the boy resides not to go into panic considering that the boy is now confined and is now recovering.

At present, the health officials are now in the process of contact tracing involving persons whom the boy had contact who included his parents and siblings.

In December last year, an eight-year old boy from Calbayog City survived after he was confined at the EVRMC due to meningococcemia.

In between 2010-2011, at least six (6) children from the region have been diagnosed to have been afflicted with meningococcemia, four of them eventually succumbing to death due to the ailment.

Of the six children, two of them were able to get cured from meningococcemia while the four of the victims from the town of Marabut and Catbalogan in Samar, and Albuera, Mahaplag and Tacloban in Leyte succumbed to death.

On his Twitter, Tayag said meningococcemia is not a highly contagious but “can spread via direct contact of nose and mouth secretions from another sick person.”

He said the disease may also spread if a sick person “directly sneezes or coughs to another person’s face.”About five percent of health persons harbor the bacteria,” he said.

Meningococcemia as defined by an online medical website is caused by bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. The bacteria frequently live in a person’s upper respiratory tract without causing visible signs of illness.

About Ricky Bautista

Ricky Bautista
Borderless Correspondent for this Channel.