VIRAL SCARE

DOH tells public to refrain from giving unvalidated info on Meningococcemia case

Health agencies of the government advised the public to refrain from spreading unvalidated information regarding a reported Meningococcemia-related case in a hospital in Davao City on Friday, August 30.

EDGE DAVAO NEWS

This issue sparked after several posts circulated online alarming the public of a 4-year-old child’s death caused by the dreaded disease at the Brokenshire Memorial Hospital on Friday afternoon.

The viral post read: “CONFIRMED!  A boy from Davao City died from Meningococcemia. Let’s be careful. Sa Bangkal nag school ang bata. Very alarming. WEAR FACE MASK!”

“Please ayaw mo adto sa Brokenshire Hospital now kay unfortunately na exposed mi sa ER (emergency room) naka sabay namo ang bata na late na na diagnosed ug meningococcemia ug namatay na sya. Kaya wala pa jud mi kauli karon kay ga-meeting pa mga doctor kung unsay himoon sa amoa na na-exposed aning  sakita.”

The Department of Health (DOH) Davao Center for Health Development, however, appealed to the public to be responsible in sharing posts in social media. 

“Let us not cause alarm not panic to the public with unverified information,” the statement read, adding that the department is currently investigating the said medical case.

DOH stressed that the hospital has collected and sent out specimen for confirmation and is now waiting for results.”

As precautionary measure, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) was given to close contacts of the patinets including the family members, pupils from pre-school where the deceased child was studying, and ER room staff who closely attended the patient.”

DOH is also closely monitoring those who had direct contact with the child for any signs and symptoms which include fever, vomiting, body rashes and loose bowl movement.

DOH also made clear that Meningococcemia is transmitted through droplet and not airborne in contrast to what circulated in social media.

Davao City Health Office (CHO), on the other hand, encouraged the public to keep calm, be cautious, and to refrain from spreading unnecessary information while the result is still being investigated.

Brokenshire Memorial Hosptial, meanwhile, clarified that the patient was “suspected case” who exhibited signs and symptoms similar with Meningococcemia.

It also stressed that the ER and the hospital has been cleared by the infection control committee and is now safe and operating normally as usual.

According to Medicinenet.com, Meningococcemia is a bloodstream infection cause by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis, also called meningococcus.

Meningitidis is a contagious bacterium that spreads from person to person via respiratory secretions.

Initially, patients present with fever and general body aches. A rash is often present. 

Patients with meningococcemia are usually seriously ill. Its complications include septic shock, failure of multiple organs, lack of circulation to the extremities (with loss of limbs), and death.