April 24th, 2007 | researchmaterial
A health alert was issued after a man who took part in the traditional ceremony – where participants slash their backs with knifes before flaying themselves with bamboo whips – died from the virus on 11 April. Mario Morales, the mayor of Mabalacat in Pampanga province north of Manila, told local media that Eduardo Sese may have contaminated up to 100 people who shared knives to cut themselves. He was bitten by an infected dog in February 2007.
Self-flagellation is an annual tradition in Pampanga and other parts of the Philippines in which men whip themselves into a frenzy on Good Friday to atone for their sins.