Recently, discussions have been making the rounds on social media among Facebook users in Antique about an alleged case of what was suspected as meningococcemia.
Dr. Leoncio Q. Abiera Jr., Antique Provincial Health Officer (PHO) I, confirmed on a video uploaded on Facebook that there was indeed a suspected case of meningococcemia in Buhang, Hamtic, Antique.
However, he clarified that the case was only a suspected one and certain protocols were followed in response to the said case and surveillance and monitoring are continuously being conducted.
He stressed that the public should stop inducing panic by spreading false information about the disease on social media.
What is meningococcemia? Is this new?
Meningococcemia is a rare infectious disease characterized by upper respiratory tract infection, fever, skin rash and lesions, eye and ear problems, and possibly a sudden state of extreme physical depression (shock) which may be life-threatening and even fatal without immediate and appropriate medical care.
It is caused by the dissemination of meningococci (Neisseria meningitidis) into the bloodstream.
During a press release in October 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) disclosed that two suspected meningococcemia cases, from Laguna and Batangas, were confirmed positive for Neisseria meningitidis based on the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine laboratory results.
Following that announcement, four persons have died due to meningococcemia in Batangas province, according to the DOH in Calabarzon.
The Business Mirror reported that children are more vulnerable to the diseases because of their low resistance to the bacteria.
This was validated by data from DOH which stated that 45 reported deaths ranged from less than one month to five years old, most of the reported deaths are males.
However, anyone regardless of age can be affected and that 5 percent to 15 percent of those with meningococcemia die within 24 to 48 hours.
Recently, DOH encouraged the public to maintain good hygiene to prevent the spread of disease.
“This is a deadly but highly preventable disease. I urge the public to practice good personal hygiene such as regular handwashing, and covering of mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of this disease,” ASec of the Public Health Services Team Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a statement.