CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital, May 17,2:24pm) Over 300 church members who were attending a convention in Impasug-ong town in Bukidnon were rushed to various hospitals in the province due alleged amoeba, reports said on Friday.
The victims were all members of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) religious sect. They were immediately rushed to the hospitals for treatment after they complain of feeling ill and had stomach aches and started vomiting on May 14, a day after the 2013 National and Local Midterm Elections. The victims, report said, also experienced severe diarrhea before they were confined in different hospitals
Hospital officials said they have accounted those immediately confined at their hospital to number around 169. As of press time there were already 45 confined patients that were discharged after their health condition got better.
Pastor Allan Alingan, president of the Northern Mindanao SDA movement told reporters there were around 300 participants of the said youth convention, and they were all having problems because they got sick while the convention was ongoing at Cedar, a government facility in Impasug-ong town in Bukidnon. The said convention facility was located in barangay Impalutao.
Meanwhile, Dr Henry Legaspi, chief of hospital at the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center has ruled out suspicion that it was a diarrhea outbreak. He said specimens of rectal swabs of the patients are now sent to Metro Manila to be checked by medical experts. He said they sent it to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Metro Manila.
Personnel from the Department of Health (DOH) were already dispatched at the convention venue and conducted their investigation. Initial findings of medical investigators reported that the venue had swarms of flies, most importantly those near the two septic tanks. Before the convention, the septic tanks were being cleaned out, reports said. The flies contaminated with amoeba disease from the septic tanks were also able to fly at the kitchen where vegetables are placed before they were cooked.
DOH officials even advised convention participants to transfer the venue of the convention far from those infested by flies. However, convention organizers decided to suspend the convention activity as those confined in hospitals are their immediate concerns and priority.