Hepa not water-borne, water utility assures
By Bong Pedalino
Maasin City (19 October) -- Engr. Gaudencio Alejandria, the Manager of Maasin Water District (MWD) here, has assured the drinking public that water is not the primary channel in which hepatitis A-inducing ailment can infect others, as what he had learned.
Having said that, however, he said he was open to investigation and in fact a probe was conducted by health authorities where water samples were taken from their water sources and other suspect points in the distribution system of the District, the findings of which may be available next week.
In a press conference held at the MWD Office Tuesday, October 17, Alejandria announced that the major sources of water in their area of concern were duly chlorinated, treated, and filtered, with regular, periodic examinations of random water samples.
Still, the possibility of contamination is there, with cross-connections and dirty water tanks in concessionaires' service lines, factors which were already beyond the control of the water utility firm, Alejandria said.
Alejandria hastily called the audience with local media to express his side of a flash report aired over DYDM by Leticia Tan, this city's Department of Health (DOH) representative, about the sudden rise of outpatient consultation mostly involving students who displayed signs of Hepa A disease.
Tan had revealed that as per her office's monitoring of the situation, some 24 students had come to the Salvacion Oppus Yniguez Provincial Memorial Hospital displaying symptoms of Hepa A, such as stomach ache, slight fever, and yellowish eyes.
But none of those who came for physical consultation were admitted, for they were just sent home after receiving medication, Tan said, adding that she was closely following developments of those who had consulted.
Among the barangays in the city proper identified as having sporadic cases of hepa A symptoms were barangays Combado, Tagnipa and Tunga-tunga.
Tan said the infection from Hepa A was caused primarily from a virus absorbed in food, water, and unsanitary conditions in the home, including personal hygiene.
Water District Manager Alejandria expressed confidence that water from their sources was not the main cause since the cases reported so far was scattered and not rampant as in one block was affected altogether. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]