Jill Silva, an accountancy freshman, went to the dining hall of Larena Hall last Sept. 16 to eat her breakfast. At around nine o’clock in the morning, after eating breakfast, she experienced stomach ache, diarrhea, and chills. She was rushed to the Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC) with 35 other Larena Hall dormers.
Thrity-six dormers of Larena Hall, an all-girl regular dormitory of SU, were rushed to SUMC last Sept. 16 after experiencing common symptoms such as fever and stomach ache. Four of them were admitted after being diagnosed with amoebiasis, a disease which affects the bowel movements and mainly caused by unclean water.
Silva, along with three others who were admitted, experienced nausea, headache, and diarrhea on top of the common symptoms felt by the 32 others who were eventually able to recover and attend their classes the next day.
Dr. Rowena Samares, attending physician of the SUMC out-patient clinic, said, “The possible cause of the sudden vomiting and fever of the students would have been food and water-borne diseases.”
Samares said they were alarmed by the number of patients who were admitted plus the fact that they were experiencing the same symptoms and coming from the same dorm.
Mark Raygan Garcia, director of the Office of Information and Publications, said that although Silliman Water, the water provider of the dormitories, undergoes a regular check-up, “the administration will still check the quality of [their] water.”
According to Garcia, the “food prepared by the SU Cafeteria will also be checked, especially that it caters to seven dormitories and serves the entire university.”
However, Garcia is disregarding the idea that the food prepared by the SU Cafeteria is one of the causes of the incident since only dormers of Larena Hall were affected.
“If it’s really due to the cafeteria, the other dorms might have experienced it as well,” Garcia said.
Aside from checking the facilities of Larena Hall, Garcia said that they will also interview the affected dormers on their choices of food and water intake which might have been the cause of their illness.
“This is something that we really have to look into because it may be also a matter of students not being informed on the quality of food [they buy] elsewhere,” Garcia pointed out.
Silva and the other three students who were admitted were released after several days from SUMC.
By DM Lorena V. Narciso