On Thursday, January 18, Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced the end of the gastroenteritis outbreak in the city. The outbreak had affected over 3,000 individuals in recent days.
During a press briefing, Magalong mentioned that he had a meeting earlier in the day with Department of Health (DOH) officials. They engaged in a thorough discussion about the epidemiologic investigation into the outbreak that affected the city.
“As a result of that, we can confidently say that we are already out of the woods. The outbreak is over,” Magalong said.
“We are now shifting to an endemic level wherein we’re now experiencing the usual occurrences of disease in our population in the City of Baguio. Meaning, these are the normal diarrhea cases that we are experiencing,” he added.
Magalong officially declared an acute gastroenteritis outbreak on January 10 following reports of residents and tourists suffering from symptoms like vomiting, stomach ache, and diarrhea.
The Department of Health (DOH) noted a rise in diarrhea cases in Baguio beginning on December 21, 2023. Magalong stated that authorities have largely determined the cause of the outbreak and its spread within the city.
The mayor announced that the city’s sanitation team will initiate the testing and inspection of 1,003 private deep wells in Baguio. The process will start with the 173 wells that have obtained permits.
“We will also look at their documents and check their operational ledgers,” Magalong said.
He added that the water provided by the Baguio Water District (BWD) showed no signs of contaminants.
“All BWD sources are totally, completely, and absolutely safe. You can now drink tap water straight from your faucet,” said Magalong.
Magalong also mentioned positive aspects or encouraging developments concerning the outbreak.
“One is we realized that we need to change our sanitation code and probably come up with a separate safe water ordinance. Another is we really need to implement more stringent policies to ensure that they are compliant with standards,” he said.