A 12-year-old volleyball player in the Davao Region Athletic Association (DAVRAA) from Davao Oriental died Wednesday night due to pneumonia and dengue, City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte confimed.
Athlete Hadia Pantalion Eronico, a resident of Mugbong Cogon in Banaybanay, was declared dead at around 7:30 p.m. while being treated at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) due to a multiple organ failure.
Villafuerte, however, clarified that the athlete was not bitten by a dengue-carrying mosquito in the city because she was already reported to have fever upon her arrival in the city.
“She was already sick… when she arrived here,” Villafuerte said. “From our surveillance, her fever started on Jan. 24.”
“Once you have pneumonia, you will have a very low resistance making you vulnerable to viral infection,” Villafuerte added.
The Department of Health (DOH) also explained that the dengue virus does not immediately show.
“Once a dengue-carrying mosquito has bitten you, it takes seven to 10 days for the signs and symptoms to show,” DOH Regional Director Dr. Anabelle Yumang told TIMES in an interview.
“Since she already had a fever before arriving here, there is a possibility that she already had the dengue back in their locality,” Yumang said.
Yumang also reported that a surveillance team conducted an inspection to all billeting areas of the athletes to secure the health and sanitation concerns of these areas.
“We also conducted a fogging before the event. We also checked that the schools used the insecticide-treated nets,” Yumang reported.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) 11 is still conducting further investigations to understand the situation.
DepEd 11 spokesperson Jenielito Atillo said they want to know why she was allowed to play even though she had fever.
“We also want to know the situation leading to this very unfortunate incident,” Atillo told Times.
He said the DepEd is investigating so they could pinpoint who should be held liable for the incident.
“Whatever information we can gather, this will be the basis for our next action. We will also look into if the division shall be made liable,” Atillo said, expressing condolences to the athlete’s family.
“We are saddened with this incident and we extend our condolences to the bereaved family.”
According to Villafuerte, unlike other delegations, the Davao Oriental division has no medical officer with them.
Three other athletes from the said province were sent to hospital yesterday.
“There were two with high grade fever, and vomiting. Another one suffers from abdominal pain, most likely gastritis. We sent them to SPMC,” said Villafuerte.
On Wednesday, coach Joezel Mae Jacobe Duro, 23, a public teacher of Aliwagwag Elementary School, said Eronico refused to eat her breakfast by 7 a.m. that day.
Duro said she convinced her to take even small amount of food. Upon noticing that the girl was coughing with blood, she brought her to the clinic.
Duty nurse Stephen Castres decided to bring the girl to the hospital for immediate medical attention. At 8:15 a.m., they rushed the girl to the SPMC.
But at 7:30 p.m. of that same day, Eronico was declared dead by attending physician Dr. Rani Valles.
According to Valles, the girl died due to failure of multifunction organs and severe dengue.
The body was immediately brought back to Banaybanay to adhere to Muslim tradition on burials.
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