More than 900 people have been stricken with typhoid in a city just south of the Philippine capital Manila, a Red Cross official said on Monday.
The number could rise further as officials in Calamba city in Laguna province continue to track down the source of the disease, provincial Red Cross administrator Rutelly Cabutin told AFP.
Advertisement"As of 5:00 pm today (0900 GMT), we have confirmed 903 cases. This includes those still in the hospital and those discharged," Cabutin said.
"It is quite alarming because the disease was not confined to one village, but is spread out in 18 villages. There could still be other undiagnosed cases," she said. "If the source can be immediately detected it can be stopped, but if it remains unknown, the number could increase."
The outbreak started last month but the cases have quickly piled up over the past two weeks, she said, adding that some 5,000 residents in 18 villages have sought medical help from the local government.
Health department officials in Manila were not immediately available to comment, but Cabutin said the local district water authority was testing samples.
She said only the health department in Manila can officially declare an outbreak, but local news reports have said hospitals in the area were having a hard time coping and that medical supplies were running out.