CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY –- Health officials in Northern Mindanao on Friday started validating reports about a “mysterious” illness that downed 70 people in a farming village in Bukidnon.
A certain Allan Pagualan, of Kiliog, Libona, Bukidnon, told the Philippines News Agency (PNA) that he experienced “body paralysis” for almost a week after contracting “flu”.
Pagualan said that about 70 villagers, both young and old, have experienced the same kind of illness since May.
“Some patients have been admitted to hospitals in Cagayan De Oro but attending doctors could not determine the cause of the illness,” Pagualan said.
“Among the symptoms are skin rashes, flu, and weak body that is the result of semi-paralysis. However, no death has been reported,” Pagualan said.
He said he did not go to the hospital for treatment, but engaged in self-medication, taking painkillers and analgesics considered as over-the-counter medicines.
Ianne Caridad, Education and Promotion officer of the Department of Health (DOH) in the region, said that the DOH has started Friday a verification and validation process of the report to establish a case “definition” of the illness.
She said that the DOH Epidemiology Department headed by Dr. David Mendoza has already started validating the cause and number of confined patients in all public hospitals here and in Bukidnon in response to the report.
Caridad said that the DOH relies on information coming from the laboratory tests brought from the hospital to them regarding any cases of illness, but in the case of the phenomenon in Kili-og in Libona, Bukidnon, the DOH has yet to receive information.