A 67-year-old woman suspected to have been afflicted with meningococcemia died at a hospital here on Monday afternoon, a health official disclosed.
The attending physician ordered relatives to immediately bury the victim’s remains to prevent the bacteria from spreading.
The woman’s body was taken to a local funeral parlor where it was wrapped with packaging tape, covered with a body bag and placed in a coffin.
Reports disclosed that the elderly patient was confined at the government-run Zamboanga City Medical Center on Monday morning and expired in the afternoon of the same day. Laboratory tests that would confirm whether the woman was afflicted with meningococcemia have yet to yield results.
“If ever the physician’s finding is meningococcemia, the remains should be buried immediately since it is a highly contagious sickness,” said Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite, City Health Office chief, in an interview on Tuesday.
Miravite said under their protocol, once a doctor suspects the patient died from meningococcemia, the remains are to be placed “in a cadaver bag, seal and bury it within 24 hours”.
She also stated that they will provide prophylaxis treatment to the victim’s nearest of kin and the people who might have come in contact with her before she died.
The patient was living in a slum community in one of the barangays within the seven-kilometer radius of this city.
Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, former city health officer, said meningococcemia is a rare infection caused by the Neisseria Meningitidis bacteria.
He said the disease’s symptoms include fever, headache, rashes consisting of small spots, irritability, nausea, and anxiety. (PNA)