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South Cotabato finds new filariasis case in remote Koronadal City village

Anopheles spp mosquito is the most common vector of filariasis. (Source: CDC)

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato (PIA) -- A fresh case of filariasis (also called elephantiasis) was recently discovered in a remote sitio in Koronadal City, a health official in South Cotabato confirmed. 

South Cotabato has declared "filaria-free" in 2013 and "malaria-free" in 2017. 

Jose Barroquillo Jr., sanitation inspector IV of the Integrated Provincial Health Office and provincial mosquito-borne disease coordinator, disclosed in an interview with 85.7 Brigada News FM Monday that an individual in Sitio El Lalam, Barangay Assumption  tested positive of filariasis parasite in a nocturnal blood smearing conducted among 38 residents of the sub-village on Friday, January 20. 

Barroquillo said that shortly after the discovery, the  patient was subjected to medication. Households in the area were also provided with chemically-treated mosquito nets.  

Teams from IPHO and City Health Office conducted immediate follow-up case finding and expanded nocturnal blood smearing in the area and neighboring places; no other person tested positive of the parasite, he said in a separate interview. 

Indoor residual spraying in all houses, initially in Sitio El Lalam, as well as vector mapping to determine the presence of mosquito species that carry the filariasis parasite are also underway.

Most common carrier of the filariasis parasite are mosquitoes of Anopheles species. 

Barroquillo elaborated that the patient in Barangay Assumption has not exhibited physical manifestation of the infection such as swelling of the scrotum among males and breasts among females, arms, and legs. 

"Filariasis is curable," he emphasized. "This is why our program has ECDT or early case detection and treatment. We have a treatment regimen for the patient." 

He also explained that Brgy. Assumption was among the areas in the province identified during the 2013 assessment survey to have cases of filariasis.  

Other filariasis endemic areas for the mentioned disease before the province was declared filaria-free were Brgy. Talahik in Surallah, Brgy Maan and Lacunon in Tboli, and Danlag in Tampakan.

Since 2013 and prior to the case in Assumption, PHO has recorded a number of filaria cases in Barangays Mongocayo and Maan in Tboli, and a sitio in Barangay Ned in Lake Sebu, which he said, were immediately addressed. 

These cases of filariasis have no effect in the status of South Cotabato as filariasis-free province since the number has not breached the level of cases against population, Barroquillo  said. (PIA-SOCCSKSARGEN) 

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Danilo Doguiles


Region 12

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