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Cause of serious cases of gastroenteritis in Panama revealed

Panama City, Jun 27 (Prensa Latina) Panamanian health authorities confirmed today that untreated water was the cause of serious cases of gastroenteritis detected in the native community Nueva Lucha, in the Donoso district of Colon.

The investigation carried out by the Ministry of Health (Minsa) pointed out that the consumption of non-industrial water coming from the river near their residences was what led to contracting this disease.

The analyses transferred to the Hospital del Niño y Santo Tomás in Panama City, revealed the presence of parasites, and Enterobacter after ingesting the contaminated water over a long period.

This is added to the vulnerability of the indigenous population with malnutrition, causing severe gastroenteritis, Minsa added.

The entity also highlighted that the outbreak has decreased due to the measures taken by the population, who also stopped drinking the water of this native region.

In early June, eight people were transferred to the capital city, including six minors and two adults, to hospitals in Panama City.

The Minsa then reported that it would begin an investigation of two deaths in a family due to the ailment in areas of Minera Panamá, a subsidiary of the Canadian transnational First Quantum, rejected by social movements.

The community of Nueva Lucha is located within this mining enclave from where they extract copper. The company was forced to close operations since November 2023, after popular demonstrations throughout the country and the Supreme Court of Justice ruling, that declared the contract with the State unconstitutional.