Philippines: ‘Rising cases of amebiasis’ in San Carlos City prompts State of health of emergency declaration


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The city government of San Carlos in Negros Occidental Province has declared a state of health emergency after reports of an increase in amebiasis cases last week.

San Carlos Mayor Renato Justillo said “disturbing concerns about amebiasis cases” led him to issue Executive Order 79, declaring a health emergency.

This microscopic drawing of the parasite Entamoeba histolytica reveals the way this organism moves.

Almost 200 cases of amebiasis were reported in 10 hamlets (villages) from January (90) to February (100).

Since Tuesday, Justello said, the city health office and San Carlos City Hospital have advised residents via social media to be wary of an increase in amebiasis cases.

Executive Order 79 noted that anyone, young and old, is susceptible to food and waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid fever, and amebiasis.

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Amebiasis is a disease caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. It can affect anyone, although it is more common in people who live in tropical areas with poor sanitary conditions.

People mostly become infected with the parasite from eating food contaminated with feces and water containing amoebic cysts. Transmission can also occur through oral-anal contact with a chronically infected or asymptomatic carrier.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about 10% to 20% of people infected with H. pylori ever get sick from the infection. Among those who do get sick, symptoms may include stomach pain, bloody stools (faeces), and fever. Rarely, E. histolytica may invade the liver and form an abscess (a collection of pus). In a small number of cases it has been shown to spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or the brain, but this is very uncommon.

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