People are enamored with inexplicable things. Mystery - that's the usual topic of some conversations, and the most interesting headline of a tabloid newspaper. This creates a big impact to human mind. It stimulates a person's imagination and ability to explain. They tend to believe in an information that's more incredible and peculiar than believing in a fact.
Maybe one best example is Pres. John F. Kennedy's death. There are many conspiracy theories in the whole incident. People love the thought that there are photos of mysterious individuals which might have a huge role on the scene. They instead believe in the theories behind the mysterious personalities than in a simple theory that the president's death was actually caused by human error.
Anyway, that's enough for an introduction of this article. There's this rumor in Pangasinan which scared the citizens of the province and even the people in the urban cities. It was said that a mysterious unknown flesh-eating disease was spreading all over the province. This story was featured in TV news and was finally concluded only as a hoax.
This rumor became an instant hit in social networking sites. Some fan pages started requesting a prayer from their followers.
The main origin of the news was the Monday night report of the ABS-CBN news program "Bandila". They reported that an alleged 'unknown flesh-eating disease' was causing the two Pangasinenses' sickness which made them look like a decaying corpse. One was in Villasis, the other was in Santa Barbara. The reporter appears to be wearing a doctor's attire while interviewing. The reporter also said that the disease was slowly spreading in the said province. They theorized leprosy, skin allergy, lupus, and psoriasis. They also mentioned that one of the patients had worms coming out from the wounds. The hush tag #prayforpangasinan trended in Twitter after the news was broadcast.
Actually, the female patient was first reported last year (2013) in GMA through their 'GMA Kapuso Foundation'. They helped the 21-year-old woman identify and treat the disease she got.
Then after that, the netizens started connecting the said misleading news to a prophecy. Before I tell you the prophecy, just a reminder, I'm not suggesting that the prophet isn't genuine or should I say a false prophet. It will be your opinion if you believe he is or not.
Anyway, in April 2013, an Indian prophet named Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj, founder of Jesus Ministries, prophesized that a 'grievous disease that consumes flesh of men and will pierce through the bones will spread all over the world' and it will begin in Pangasinan, Philippines. A video of Bro. Vincent Selvakumar who translated the prophesy was circulating in the internet.
The prophet also foretold the Bohol earthquake, which happened in October 2013, and the Typhoon Yolanda, which came in November of the same year.
Here's what he actually said:
"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.” “This will then spread to CEBU.”
They claimed that his prophesies will be fulfilled if the people of the Philippines will not repent.
The female patient was diagnosed by a dermatologist to have Pyoderma gangrenosum. The skin disease really resembles Leprosy, however the two are different. But according to Department of Health, it was leprosy. Dr. Grace Beltran opposed because DOH didn't really made an actual biopsy.
The Pyoderma grangrenosum is a kind of condition that causes soft body tissues to become necrotic, causing deep ulcers which usually occurs on the legs. According to Beltran, the one who diagnosed and treated the woman, the skin disease was very rare, and it is not contagious as what was reported. She added that the disease may be related to internal problems such as inflammatory bowel disease or cancer.
The male patient was said to have a Psoriasis, according to DOH. But because he didn't allowed to undergo a biopsy, Beltran only speculated that he as well had a pyoderma.
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