DISEASE AND IMMUNITY IN THE PRE-SPANISH PHILIPPINES (Linda A. Newson)
LINDA A. NEWSON • A British Author has spent her career studying the old World diseases and immunity in the early colonial Philippines and Spanish America. • She suggests that Filipinos populations had not acquired significant immunities to acute infections in pre-spanish times and that their limited demographic impact in the colonial period derived more from the particular geography of the islands.
RATIONALE OF THE STUDY • Examined by trying to establish which diseases were present in the islands in pre-spanish times. • Analysis of the evidence for the presence of infections in China and Japan through trading contacts with and between Philippine islands. • Evidence from early colonial documents and Filipino dictionaries for the presence and impact of the Old World diseases. • Suggests that Filipino populations had not acquired significant immunities to acute infections in pre-spanish times.
CONCEPTUALTHEORIES • Spread by face to face contact • Most acute infections can only become endemic in large populations • Study will therefore consider evidence not only for the presence of acute infections but for a full range of diseases that may have become endemic in the Philippines prior to Spanish arrival. • Diseases much may can become endemic in small populations are mainly those which are not dependent on direct transmission between humans but which are often related to hygiene. Any environmental conditions are spread by nonhuman vectors.
PHILIPPINE CONTEXT • An awareness of the particular environmental and social conditions in the Philippines is crucial to arguments. The hot and humid tropical climate would have generally favored the propagation of many diseases, especially water-borne infections but as will be demonstrated in the discussion of individual diseases. • The geography of the islands had a major influence on the spread of diseases. 7000 islands but only about 500 exceed one square mile in area and only eleve are over 1000 square miles.(De Bevoise & shaffer) • The settlement pattern in the lowlands was based on the barangay which comprised a social group of perhaps 20-100 families linked together by blood ties, marriage and ritual kinship. (Doeppers & Morga) • The Filipino group generally practiced shifting cultivation or subsisted by hunting and gathering place between the highlands and lowlands. (Doeppers & Hutterer)
INFECTION DISEASES FOUND IN SMALL POPULATIONS • Malaria – (Anopheles minimusflavirostris) - not clear when malaria became established, the limited genetic resistance to the disease among filipino populations. (Motulsky & Livingstone) • Dengue Fever – long history in the philippines and it was clearly present when spanish arrives. • Water-borne enteric infections Enteric Diseases • Dysentery – is and inflammatory disorder of the intestine • Typhoid fever – is a kind of fever transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated from an infected person.
(Local Tagalog, Visayan, Iloko and Bikol) • Severe and bloody diarrhoea (dagis, palicor, balos) • Intestinal worms (olay, olyabid, bulati tiva) Plasmodium falciparum – are both found in the islands and the main vector for disease, except in Mindoro is Anopheles minimus flavirostris (malaria), which is found in the foothills bet. 240 and 600 m. • Fever (lagnat, hilanat) • Six kinds of fever compiled in Tagalog Dictionary by Miguel Ruiz are tertian, quartan, continual, weak and prolonged and severe and intense. • Dengue which is spread (Aedes aegypti, Ae. Albociptus and Ae. polynesiensis) which has only been clinically known for 200 years. (Siler & Hayes) Schistosomiasis – which is dependend on the presence of snail hosts, located in some islands, notably Mindoro, Samar, Leyte and Northern Mindanao. (Tabangui, Pasco & Farley)
Leprosy – was not a major killer, but it appears to have been and ancient disease in China, Japan and korea (Gwei-Djen & Needham) Leprosy has numerous words for lepra in the early dictionaries especially the visayan dictionary like tabagbacis lepra and bubas. Also called yaws or syphilis. • Amomotol – St. Lazaru’s Disease where the ends of the fingers are eaten away. • Yaws – where is poor hygiene and clinical manifestations. • Bubas (cati) – located on the body as ‘mal frances’ or ‘veneral syphilis’ also referred to as Yaws in indonesia. • Buti – visayan dictionaries define as viruelas (smallpox). • Tuberculosis – little evidence for the disease in the early colonial period. Tuberculosis give local names for asthma (hica, habul, hucab, hubac) Coughs (obo, ubo) colds and catarrh (sipon, panateng)
ACUTE INFECTIONS • There were some contacts between the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam but most epidemics probably originated in China, Japan or India where large population. (Hopkins & Fenner) • Due to Trading of China to the Philippines during spanish times, the epidemic history of china is for particular significance to that of the Philippines, while japan, with whom contacts appear to have been increasing in the 16th century, was most likely a secondary source of infection. (Dunstan, Mcneill, Twitchett, Farris & Jannetta) • Acute infections 1st arrived overland along the silk road, and later by sea through the ports of chekiang and fukien on the south china coase, from there later transmitted to japan and korea. (Twitchett, Farris & Leung)
The island are problematic. • Limited number of ports notably Manila, Mindoro, Cebu, Mindanao and Jolo. EARLY FILIPINO DICTIONARY smallpox (bolotong, buti, burtong, poco) measles (tiplas, tipdas, darap) but not appear in ILOKO DICTIONARY • In the Visayas and Bikol different types of smallpox are identified. Smallpox – Honga (bikol) described as ‘fatal’ - pinarurcan (visayan) described as ‘virulent kind’ • other acute infections • Are mumps (bayiqui, bicqui) • Scarlet fever (panapton, cagmapula for escarlatina)
CONCLUSION • It appear that in the early colonial epidemics resulted in high mortality, though this depended in part on the length of time that had elapsed since the population had been previously infected by the same disease. • The evidence presented that among the infections that probably became endemic in pre-spanish times were enteric diseases, malaria, dengue, leprosy, yaws and tuberculosis.
Presented by; Suan, Jose Ecoben, Peter Lawrence Basilgo, Jovet Flores, Micheal Bagayna, Benjie Lumod, Lea