Water could have sickened guests in Imelda Marcos’ birthday party – DOH

Marje Pelayo   •   July 5, 2019   •   597

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is now testing samples of the drinking water served to guests in the birthday party of former First Lady Imelda Marcos.

The test is to determine what could have caused stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting among the guests in Marcos’ birthday party at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City on Tuesday (July 2).

“Ite-test din natin kung mayroong bacteria o kung contamination iyong tubig (We will test (the water) for possible bacteria or contamination),” explained DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

“Kasi maaaring hindi lamang sa pagkain. Maaaring sa tubig ito nanggaling (Because it may not just be from food. It could also be from the water),” he added.

Domingo said the test may take to about three to five days so they may be able to release the result by early next week. – with details from Aiko Miguel

Dengvaxia won’t bring dengue cases down – DOH

Maris Federez   •   August 8, 2019

The controversial dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday maintained that Dengavaxia is not the answer to the problem of the high incidence of dengue in the country.

DOH spokesperson and Officer in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Usec. Eric Domingo explained that dengue is not like any other disease where vaccination is the only solution.

He stressed that Dengvaxia is still not a registered drug in the country and its efficacy is not yet fully proven.

“This vaccine is not for an outbreak response. It’s designed for future use sa mga taong nagka- dengue na dati [for people who have had dengue before],” Domingo said.

A World Health Organization (WHO) report showed that “Dengvaxia was first licensed in Mexico in December 2015 for use in individuals 9-45 years of age living in endemic areas, and is now licensed in 20 countries.”

It was then used in 11 countries in 2016, including the Philippines.

But it was only in September 2018 that the WHO recommended that Dengvaxia be only administered to children who were previously infected with dengue, adding that it is dangerous for those who have not yet gotten the disease.

This caused among the public, as well as, experts as the Philippines is the only country who had used Dengvaxia vaccination on a wider scope, with more than 800,000 children inoculated.

The DOH maintained that there is still no concrete study to date that claimed that children who are vaccinated with Dengvaxia will never be infected with dengue.

“It’s very difficult because you’re tested and then you’re positive but you’re actually false positive. Then if you give the Dengvaxia, who knows that the severe dengue reaction will not occur in a particular individual. So, there’s a risk, in other words,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said.  (with details from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

PhilHealth to shoulder hospital expenses of victims of food poisoning

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 4, 2019

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) assured to shoulder the hospital expenses of the victims of food poisoning at the birthday celebration of former first lady Imelda Marcos.

PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales said all victims who are PhilHealth members and are confined in private and public hospitals can avail their benefits.

“PhilHealth pays up to P6,000 for food poisoning or acute gastroenteritis with moderate to severe dehydration when confined in any PhilHealth accredited hospital,” he said.

Meanwhile, non-members can avail the Point of Service (POS) Program in government hospitals.

“We want to assure those affected that in case hospitalization is required, they can bank on their PhilHealth coverage for financial protection,” Morales adds.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH suspects eggs served at Imelda’s birthday behind food poisoning

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 4, 2019

The pre-packed lunch consisting of rice with chicken adobo and egg that is suspected to have caused the poisoning of over guests at former first lady Imelda Marcos’s birthday celebration on July 2, 2019

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said the egg served during former first lady Imelda Marcos’s birthday celebration may have caused the food poisoning of over 200 guests.

“It could have come from the eggs, because the most common report is that the eggs tasted rotten, if not spoiled. It could be contamination already,” according to Duque.

Victims said they have eaten rice with chicken adobo and egg. One of the guests, Alice Cañarez, recalled that the said food was served first.

“Marami pong nag-donate ng pagkain. Although iyong talagang naunang kainin ng mga tao ay iyong cater po na naka-packed lunch, (Many have donated food. Although the first one served was the packed lunch),” she said.

The health department is currently examining the food and water served during the birthday celebration.

They will also monitor the situation of the victims even after their discharge from the hospital. Duque said they will monitor the victims’ oral re-hydration until they fully recover.

Meanwhile in a statement, former Senator Bongbong Marcos apologized for the incident and assured they will provide assistance to the victims of food poisoning.

“Kami po ay nakikipag-ugnayan sa mga maaapektuhan at patuloy na umaasikaso sa kanila. Ako po ay humihingi ng pahumanhin at lubos na pag-unawa sa nangyaring ito. Makakaasa po kayo sa aming tulong hanggang sa ang lahat ay tuluyang gumaling, (We are coordinating with the affected individuals and continuing to assist them. I apologize and ask for your understanding. We assure to provide assistance until everyone fully recover)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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