It has been circulating online that a mysterious skin disease has been spreading in Pangasinan Philippines. In some unofficial reports, people are calling it a flesh-eating disease. Philippine TV channels have yet to pick up and air the story. However, ABS-CBN’s bandila has already posted this on its Facebook page:
“NGAYON SA #Bandila #MistersyosongSakit na tila kumakain umano sa balat at laman ng tao, unti-unting kumakalat sa lalawigan ng Pangasinan.” (the mysterious desease allegedly feeds on human skin and flesh)
So what is this mysterious Pangasinan Skin Disease? Is this Necrotizing Fasciitis?
What is Necrotizing Fasciitis (Flesh-Eating Disease)
Necrotizing fasciitis is a term that describes a disease condition of rapidly spreading infection, usually located in fascial planes of connective tissue that results in tissue necrosis (dead and damaged tissue). Fascial planes are bands of connective tissue that surround muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Fascial planes can bind structures together as well as allow body structures to slide over each other effectively. The disease occurs infrequently, but it can occur in almost any area of the body. Although many cases have been caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes), most investigators now agree that many different bacterial genera and species, either alone or together (polymicrobial), can cause this disease. Occasionally, mycotic (fungal) species cause necrotizing fasciitis.
Mortality (death) rates have been reported as high as 75% for necrotizing fasciitis associated with Fournier’s (testicular) gangrene. Patients with necrotizing fasciitis have an ongoing medical emergency that often leads to death or disability if it is not promptly and effectively treated.
Or maybe this is Bubonic plague. The latest outbreak of the Bubonic Plague was in a village in Madagascar in December 2013. There is a full report from BBC here.
Here is an excerpt from Wiki:
Bubonic plague is an infection of the lymphatic system, usually resulting from the bite of an infected flea, Xenopsylla cheopis (the rat flea). In very rare circumstances, as in the septicemic plague, the disease can be transmitted by direct contact with infected tissue or exposure to the cough of another human. The fleas are often found on rodents such as rats and mice, and seek out other prey when their rodent hosts die. The bacteria began its life harmlessly living in the digestive tracts of mammals. The ability to propagate was dependent only upon its ability to travel from mammal host to mammal host. The bacteria remained harmless to the flea, allowing the new host to spread the bacteria. The bacteria form aggregates in the gut of infected fleas and this results in the flea regurgitating ingested blood, which is now infected, into the bite site of a rodent or human host. Once established, bacteria rapidly spread to the lymph nodes and multiply.
Y. pestis bacilli can resist phagocytosis and even reproduce inside phagocytes and kill them. As the disease progresses, the lymph nodes can haemorrhage and become swollen and necrotic. Bubonic plague can progress to lethal septicemic plague in some cases. The plague is also known to spread to the lungs and become the disease known as the pneumonic plague. This form of the disease is highly communicable as the bacteria can be transmitted in droplets emitted when coughing or sneezing.
Since there has been no official statement released by the Philippine Department of Health, netizens has linked the mysterious disease to a prophesy made by Indian-Christian Prophet Sadhu:
“The Lord says there is a place called PANGASINAN. The Lord says it is in the northernmost part in your land. From there a grievous disease will spread all over the world. That will consume the flesh of men; all their upper (outer) skin will begin to decay. It will pierce through the bones. The fear of this disease will spread all over the world. The Lord said that this (disease) will begin from the Philippines.”
Those are exactly his words. His prophesy about the Samar-Leyte typhoon disaster has already came true.
Here is a video:
UPDATE (2/24/2014): Here is the video of the Bandila report:
What do you think about this mysterious skin disease? What about the prophesy?
UPDATE (2/25/2014): Provincial Health Officer Anna Teresa De Guzman said that both cases of skin diseases that have been reported are controllable and there is no truth to the rumor that a so-called “flesh-eating” illness is fast spreading in the province.
Here is the full news report posted on the official FB page of the Province of Pangasinan: The story reported by ABS-CBN Bandila was a hoax!
‘MYSTERIOUS SKIN DISEASE IN PANGASINAN, NOT TRUE’-PHO CHIEF
Lingayen- – -“It is unfounded, not true, and baseless. There is no such thing as a “mysterious skin disease nor a flesh-eating bacteria spreading in Pangasinan.”
This was the affirmation made by Provincial Health Officer Anna Teresa de Guzman in a press conference held February 25 at the Kalantiao conference room here to clear the issue that a so-called “flesh-eating” disease is fast spreading in the province as reported on a late national TV news program last night, February 24.
Dr. de Guzman said that the alleged issue (which went viral on social media) has caused panic not only to the people of Pangasinan but even those living abroad.
Early morning today, Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. has directed the Provincial Health Officer to conduct a swift investigation on the reported two Pangasinenses who were allegedly suffering from a “mysterious” skin disease.
According to Dr. De Guzman she led the Provincial Health Office (PHO) team that went to personally check on the condition of a certain Mary Grace from Sta. Barbara town and a certain Alex in Villasis town who allegedly are suffering from the mysterious disease.
The PHO chief said that based on medical report, Mary Grace has undergone leprosy treatment two years ago when she was 19 years old.
De Guzman explained that treatment for leprosy usually takes a year.
Further, she said that the disease which can only be transferred through droplet (through saliva, sneezing) and open wound contact. Leprosy, which is curable, is not airborne (transmitted through the air), she said.
Mary Grace’s case, according to her, was aggravated from an adverse reaction from a multi-drug therapy (hypersensitivity), thus skin lesions were developed.
Alex (the second patient) is suffering from psoriasis, an auto-immune disease which is acquired through chromosomal genes. His disease was further aggravated by arthritis.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but can be controlled, as explained by the provincial health officer.
“These two cases are not that of the rare necrotizing fasciitis (scientific term) or flesh-eating disease (layman’s term). There is no reason at all for the public to panic,” she disclosed.
On orders of Governor Espino, the two patients were brought to the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital to undergo further treatment and to assess other underlying health conditions.
Dr. De Guzman likewise said that the provincial government is exerting all efforts to provide healthier environ for the 2.7 million Pangasinenses as health care is the main thrust of the Espino administration.
“Aside from the facilities in placed, we have several health projects on deck part of which is the Kilatis Kutis,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Orpheus M. Velasco, Public Information Officer, has appealed for responsible reportage on the part of the media.
“Let us not sensationalize a story that would only cause undue panic,” he said.
It can be recalled that a prophecy by self-titled prophet Vincent Selvakumar of the Voice of Jesus Ministries in April 2013 said a flesh-eating disease would spread from Pangasinan to the world.
“Sometimes, the media attempts to exaggerate to make news sensational…they just connected it to the prophecy,” Dr. De Guzman earlier said.