More than 500 villagers in a northern Philippine province have been admitted in hospitals for typhoid fever over the past two weeks, a senior Red Cross official said Monday.
The 500 sickened residents from 18 villages of Calamba city of Laguna province are being treated in nine local hospitals, Rutelly Cabutin, the administrator of Laguna chapter of Philippine National Red Cross told Xinhua in a telephone interview.
Nearly 5,000 residents are seeking medical assistance from the government, said Rutelly, adding that however she was unable to tell how many of these people are suffering from typhoid fever.
Rutelly said the disease started to spread around Feb. 16 and peaked at the end of the month as the number of admitted patients doubled in the past week.
She said the Red Cross has not found the cause of the outbreak and is probing every angle to determine the cause. Rutelly said Calamba Water District had tested sample water following the incident but the test results turned out to be fine.
Local television network GMA News said that local medical resources were strained by the outburst of typhoid fever cases.
It quoted sources with JP Rizal Memorial Medical Center saying that at least 157 typhoid patients were crammed in the hospital that has a maximum accommodation for only 50.
"Most of the patients were on the floor due to the hospital's insufficient number of beds," the report said, adding that local medicines and medical supplies are also almost running out.
(Xinhua/Agencies March 4, 2008)