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Submitted: 16 May 2007 Modified: 21 March 2019
HERDIN Record #: PCHRDPC020883

Community response to a rotavirus diarrhea outbreak in Zamboanga City.

Mario R Arciaga,
Rosemarie T. Santana-Arciaga,
Brenda Nazareth,
Ma. Concepcion R. Roces,
Irene Grafil,
Noel T. Orozco,
Laurence P. Sabido,
Lydia Sombrero,
Rose Mate

Background: In November 18, 2000, a sudden increase in the number of diarrhea eases was noted in our city. Faced with the question of the possible cause and source of the outbreak, a systematic investigation was conducted. Objective: It is the purpose of this paper to describe the epidemiology of the diarrhea outbreak which occurred in Zamboanga City in November 2000 and to describe the community response to control such an outbreak. Methods: The epidemiological approach used in this study was based on disease surveillance and outbreak investigation. Field investigation with water analysis was conducted simultaneously with clinical and laboratory investigation. Results: Data showed that there was indeed an outbreak with 1,868 reported diarrhea cases in 10 hospitals in Zamboanga City excluding the equally high number of consultations in the private pediatric clinics. Affected were infants and young children. Laboratory investigation revealed rotavirus group A as the etiologic agent which caused the outbreak. This was detected in 87 percent of all samples tested. Water dialysis during the outbreak showed low chlorine levels and presence of coliform organisms in some areas in the city which were also the same areas heavily affected by the outbreak. There was no test locally available to detect the presence of rotavirus in water samples. This paper also highlights the prompt concerted response of the community led by the group of pediatricians in close coordination with the local government unit and various sectors of society. Conclusion: A rotavirus diarrhea outbreak occurred in Zamboanga City in November 2000. Based on the low chlorine levels and presence of outbreak was water-borne in the absence of rotavirus test in water samples. There was a remarkable community response to the outbreak which lasted for a week.

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West Min Health Res J
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