FOOD POISONING. The kin of students from Pili National High School in Ajuy town who were reported to be food poisoned flock to the Sara District Hospital in Sara, Iloilo Sunday (Nov. 6, 2022) evening. The provincial epidemiology and surveillance unit is investigating the case. (Photo courtesy of Zarraga News Live)

ILOILO CITY – One person died and 40 others, mostly Grade 11 students, have been taken to hospitals after a reported food poisoning at a party over the weekend.

Dr. Sarrie Masongsong, Ajuy Rural Health Unit (RHU) head, said 21 are admitted at the Sara District Hospital in Sara, nine at Gov. Niel D. Tupas Sr. District Hospital in Barotac Viejo and 10 at the RHU.

"Partly it can be considered as food poisoning since there were a lot who were affected. Most of them are in Grade 11 but they belong to different sections," she said in an interview on Monday.

About 37 were students and three were teachers of the Pili National High School.

There were others who also manifested mild symptoms but they opted to stay at home since the loose bowel movement also stopped.

The victims said most drank buko pandan juice during their United Nations celebration on Nov. 4.

Most of them have symptoms such as stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea on Sunday.

However, the student who died showed symptoms as early as Saturday.

The fatality was identified as Ricky Ann Angel Bacacao, 17, of the town's Malayu-an village.

Iloilo Provincial Health Officer Dr. Maria Socorro Quiñon said the Ajuy RHU has coordinated with the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

"Sara District Hospital admitted the patients. They received the cases, treated them and monitored, gave treatment and laboratory tests available and coordinated with the Ajuy RHU for the initial investigation. They also informed our provincial epidemiology and surveillance unit," she said.

A team from the provincial epidemiology and surveillance unit has been deployed to the Sara District Hospital and in Ajuy for a thorough investigation.

"Indi pa kita sure kon buko juice gid man kay nag boodle fight so amo na nga ma conduct kita investigation para ma determine. Kag makuha kita sang remnants of food nga puede pa ma pa tsek (We are not sure yet if it was really the buko juice that is why we will conduct an investigation to know. We will also gather remnants of the food that we can still check)," Quiñon said in a media interview.

She added that the PHO has provided medicines and will be sending more oral rehydration solutions as augmentation. (PNA)