Acute bloody diarrhea cases in region down by 5 percent

Acute bloody diarrhea cases in the Cordillera for the first forty weeks of this year reached one thousand three hundred forty seven cases, around five percent lower than the reported one thousand for hundred eighteen cases during the same period last year.

Based on the data obtained from the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), no death due to acute bloody diarrhea was reported this year while there was a lone fatality that was reported by the regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESu) last year.

The DOH-CAR report claimed the acute bloody diarrhea cases were from Benguet with 555 cases or 41.2 percent of the total number of recorded cases followed by Mountain Province with 312 cases or 23.1 percent; Ifugao – 233 or 17.3 percent; Baguio city – 151 or 11.2 percent; Apayao – 32 cases or 2.4 percent; Abra – 15 cases or 1.1 percent; Kalinga – 8 or 0.6 percent and non-CAR provinces – 41 cases or 3 percent.

Experts claimed that there were some 706 males who were able to contract the illness which represent 52 percent of the total number of individuals who were affected.

Further, the report stated that the age range of those who were affected with the illness is from 1 month to 99 years old with a median of 14 years old.

Geeny Anne Austria of the DOH-RESU, explained that entamoeba histolytica was the most common organism seen from the stool submitted by the affected individuals.

According to her, clustering of acute bloody diarrhea cases were reported in Benguet, Ifugao and Mountain Province where appropriate interventions by the concerned health authorities in the said places were undertaken to prevent the spread of the illness.

Acute bloody diarrhea, with or without vomiting and fever, commonly is associated with pathogenic bacteria in pediatric patients. This dysenteric process commonly has been associated with Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter sp. Aeromonas recently has been implicated as a causative agent of bloody diarrhea. In one study of patients with Aeromonas-positive diarrhea, 30 percent had blood in their stools, 37 percent had vomiting, and 31percent had fever.

Diarrhea due to Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter is usually self-limiting, with most patients showing significant improvement a few days after the onset of illness. Often, the patient's symptoms have resolved by the time that stool cultures are positive.

Moreover, a cute bloody diarrhea should be considered a medical emergency. Its causes are frequently serious or actionable or both and are usually identified. However, acute bloody diarrhea as a stand-alone clinical presentation has received little scholarly attention in the past several decades. Although the range of possible causes of acute bloody diarrhea is broad, infectious considerations are paramount and should always be prioritized in the evaluation of such patients. History, examination, and laboratory testing should be focused on minimizing time to diagnosis (and, by extension, to implementing appropriate therapy). Strategically chosen tests and imaging, avoidance of extraneous diagnostic pursuits, and provision of supportive care while awaiting diagnostic clarity are central to the adroit management of patients with acute bloody diarrhea. Diagnostic considerations differ somewhat between adults and children but have many elements in common, including the need for vigilance in detecting Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection.  -  Dexter A. See