In a bid to downplay the ill effects of the presence of coliform bacteria in the city’s rivers, city officials continue to issue clarifications.
The latest is from the City Health Office. It said fecal coliform tends to affect humans more than it does aquatic creatures.
City Health Officer Leonard Carbonell made his own clarification citing his recent technical and epidemiological study regarding coliform.
“Fecal coliform bacteria are naturally-occurring organism that is passed out of the body with fecal wastes from human livestock and wildlife,” Carbonell explained.
He added that if the fecal coliform counts are high, this may cause cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, dysentery and acute gastro enteritis as he explained that the reservoir hosts of fecal coliform and human pathogen are warm-blooded animals and not cold-blooded animals, like fishes.
Thus, Carbonell maintained that coliform poses no threat on aquatic marine lives, such as bangus.
He also pointed out that fecal coliform bacteria counts are mainly used to regulate surface waters from recreational use (body contact bathing); potability of water if used as drinking water source; and shell fishing like mussels and oysters.
He also took care to point out that the affected sites are not designated bathing places, like Tondaligan beach.
“The affected sample sites are never the source of the drinking water for Dagupeños. The main sources of drinking water are Dagupan Water District, Water Refilling Stations and deep wells, those with depth of 100 feet,” Carbonell said
He said based on the epidemiological data review of morbidity or illness from hospital, “no epidemiological correlation was established as to any cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, acute gastroenteritis outbreaks on mentioned positive sample sites” during the three-month period in 2006.
He claimed that the City Health Disease Surveillance Unit even reported a decrease in the number of cases from the target period from February to April, 2006 as compared to the previous three months (November 2005 to January 2006 and the same period of the previous year February to April 2005).
Carbonell reiterated his earlier advice to the public that shellfish, like oysters gathered from the river systems irrespective of fecal coliform counts, must be cooked thoroughly since coliform and disease-causing microorganism can be killed by heat or chlorine. AQL
inspections up soon
Finally, the Dagupan City government is poised to act and contain the contamination in the city’s rivers.
The City Health Office announced it will soon conduct a massive inspection of all houses situated near river banks to ensure that they are not contributing to the contamination of the river systems.
This is on the heels of the report emanating from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources that high coliform count was found in the city’s river system.–APE
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