Bayambang girl dies of Japanese encephalitis

THE provincial health officer confirmed that a 14-year-old girl from Bayambang recently died of Japanese encephalitis, a rare kind of mosquito-borne disease.

According to PHO chief, Dr. Anna de Guzman, based on her office’s initial investigation, Jasmine Prestoza of Barangay San Vicente, Bayambang was confined for four days at the Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) in Dagupan City on suspicion she manifested symptoms of dengue like headache, fever, body weakness, confusion, among others.

De Guzman said based on Prestoza’s death certificate signed by her attending doctor, her cause of death was confirmed as Japanese encephalitis.

She added that a probe will be conducted because “it was a health emergency and the patient died”.

Since Prestoza was studying in Camiling, Tarlac, PHO coordinated with health authorities in Tarlac to find out if there are other patients who may also be manifesting the same symptoms. The response was negative.

This prompted doctors to investigate the victim’s neighborhood.

De Guzman said before Prestoza was brought to the R1MC, she was initially checked up in Tarlac but dengue was ruled out.

Madilyn Marcos, Prestoza’s guardian, told a local TV interview, that she brought the victim to a quack doctor, after her check-up with a clinic, as her fever persisted.

But again Prestoza’s high fever continued and she was growing weaker each day.  It was then when Marcos decided to bring her the R1MC where she died after four  days of confinement.

De Guzman said sometime in January in February this year, a case of Japanese encephalitis was reported in Sison.

“But this (Prestoza) is the first casualty this year,” De Guzman added. ( PhilStar Wire Service)

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