Published Date: 2008-03-05 14:00:17
Subject: PRO/EDR> Typhoid fever update 2008 (04): Philippines
Archive Number: 20080305.0901
TYPHOID FEVER UPDATE 2008 (04): PHILIPPINES
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
In this update:
,  Philippines (Laguna)
 Philippines (Laguna)
Date: Wed 5 Mar 2008
Source: USA Today [edited]
More than 1400 people have displayed typhoid symptoms in less than a
month in a city near the Philippine capital, prompting authorities to
declare a state of calamity, health officials said Wednesday [5 Mar
2008]. Extra medical teams have been sent to assist doctors and
conduct disease surveillance in Calamba, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.
Of 1477 people with typhoid symptoms, 436 have been treated in the
city's 6 hospitals and the rest in local community health centers
since 16 Feb 2008, said Dr. Dennis Labro, spokesman for the city's
health office. Only 37 of those cases have been confirmed with blood
tests because the typhoid test is expensive, Labro said.
"So far there are no reported deaths," Labro said.
The outbreak was concentrated in 5 adjacent villages in Calamba,
about 34 miles from Manila, and the salmonella bacteria that caused
the illness may have been spread via the water system, based on the
speed at which the outbreak grew, he said.
But Labro was hopeful that the outbreak was under control. "There are
still cases coming in, but these are fewer in number compared to the
past few days," he said.
Labro said the city's 50-bed government-run hospital was so swamped
when the outbreak peaked 25-27 Feb 2008 that corridors were used to
The city declared a state of calamity Monday [3 Mar 2008], allowing
it to immediately withdraw emergency funds for antibiotics and
intravenous drips, he said. The Red Cross and the health department
also sent medicine and doctors.
ProMED Rapporteur Brent Barrett
 Philippines (Laguna)
Date: Wed 5 Mar 2008
Source: Inquirer.net [edited]
Government hospitals here were already running out of space for the
increasing number of typhoid patients. Many of the patients, with
mattresses in tow, slept in the hallways while others used chairs and
tables as their beds.
Dr. Dennis Labro, spokesperson of the city health office, told the
Philippine Daily Inquirer that as of late Wednesday [5 Mar 2008],
there were about 1477 individuals downed by typhoid in Calamba City,
but only 436 of them needed confinement in 6 hospitals.
Meanwhile, residents of this city and nearby Los Banos town have
started to worry about the cause of the outbreak. A text message
circulated in Los Banos warning people not to buy ice cubes because,
allegedly, an ice plant in Calamba was mishandling its production.
Labro, however, said they had yet to receive reports of possible
contamination in the ice plant but it would be a part of their
investigation. There is only one plant in Calamba that supplies ice
in the city. Labro said investigations were still ongoing and that
the health department has yet to determine the cause of the outbreak.
He surmised, however, that the rather fast spread of the disease
could be due to water contamination, but health experts had yet to
confirm what really happened. Even though the city health office
found negative results for typhoid bacteria in their water sampling
test, Labro said they still suspected that the outbreak resulted from
Labro asked the people not worry so much because health officials at
the local, provincial, regional and national levels had joined their
efforts by sending manpower, medicines and experts to hasten the
determination of the source/s of the outbreak and eventually control
the spread of the disease.
He said 263 of the patients who had already been observed and
undergone "blood culture" had tested positive in their "screening
test." Not all of the patients could be tested because some could not
afford the cost of the test, which is more than PHP 1000 [USD 24.56]
per test, Labro said.
Labro said his office records showed that the 436 confined patients
were being treated in 6 hospitals, namely: Calamba Doctors Hospital,
Calamba Medical Center, St. John the Baptist hospital, Pamana
Hospital, Jose P. Rizal Memorial District Hospital, and San Jose
Hospital, all in Calamba City. He said most of the typhoid patients
were children aged 10 to 12.
Labro clarified that they noted cases in nearby Laguna towns like San
Pablo City and Los Banos. "But there might be a spillover of
patients," he said, adding that some patients were being transferred
to hospitals in Los Banos and faraway towns in Batangas.
At the J. P. Rizal Hospital, Dr. Gonzalo Lavarias Jr., chief of
hospital, said their admission of typhoid patients increased last
Monday [3 Mar 2008] from 67 to 97. He said the hospital had
sufficient medicines but lacked space, resulting in the transfer of
some patients to other public hospitals. "It seems the number of
typhoid cases is still increasing," Lavarias said.
[Byline: Nina Catherine Calleja]
[These reports add more than 430 cases since the previous posting on
3 Mar 2008.
A map of the Philippines showing Manila on the island of Luzon can be found at
The relationship of Calamba in Laguna province to Manila can be seen
on a map at