This is an excerpt from the book, "A Catalogue of Filipino Social Ailments" by Dr. Juan Cristos de Medico:
Kleptospirosis - a serious illness that compels a sufferer to steal and steal and steal. Mild symptoms include petty theft to grave plundering of government funds. This is usually in conjunction with other serious illnesses that further compound the effects of the symptoms of the former - like, when a sufferer is also suffering from glips*, the symptoms' impact becomes tenfold because he is able to convince his victims to be swindled.
It is mostly spread via eye contact - that is, a victim who unwarily observes the symptoms of a sufferer becomes infected as well.
Treatment usually ranges from capital punishment, where an extremely diseased patient has to be killed to prevent further infection from eye contact with him; incarceration in a correctional facility for seemingly reformable victims; to counseling and re-education for young patients.
It is a very virulent disease - even those with religious education are unable to resist it. Immunity is limited to a select few. Currently, research is being taken on these healthy subjects to determine an effective vaccine and cure.
This symptom has been first reported at the beginning of the Spanish conquest, being introduced by the European Castillans in the 16th century. As to why records of this illness is non-existent in pre-Hispanic Philippines, it is because that Islamic treatment was truly effective. It is should be remembered that a considerable territory of the country was under Muslim influence. It was the practice to mete capital punishment in cases of kleptospirosis. For patients displaying the symptoms, mutilation was the cure. That is, chopping of the hands or feet was administered. In most extreme cases, beheading is exercised to prevent potentially serious outbreaks. The Muslim method is so effective that many have equated the disease to leprosy, where limb or bodily degeneration is associated with it. It thus was inculcated within their consciousness that kleptospirosis is a genuine health hazard. This prompted the Filipino Muslim citizenry to take preventive measures against infection by frequenting their local masjid (or mosque, the equivalent of the Christian church) and by also following principles outlined in their medical treatise, the Qu'ran.
Unfortunately, with the blind zeal of the Castillans to suppress established, native faiths (including Islam), the effective treatment measures have been almost forgotten. This practice has largely died out and is presently endangering Muslim bastions in the south.
Filipino Christian medical authorities are desperately trying to figure out how to contain this disease without the primitive harshness of the Muslim method. This has reached to the point where they looked towards Maoist medical expertise (where they have noted successes similar to that of the Muslims) but to no avail. They seemed to have observed that though the Beijing doctors guaranteed effective cures, the klepto pathogen they harbor is resistant to their own treatment measures. Lately, it has been reported that the resistant strain has spread over to the present population slowly rendering present measures ineffective. Thus, Filipino doctors are worried that the strain they carry can spread to other parts of the world, much like SARS. A glimmer of hope was found in the treatments of Dr. Chiang Ching-kuo, also a mainland native, whose measures have not only reduced the incidence of kleptospirosis but a host of other illnesses as well. Efforts are underway to re-create this miraculous cure-all. It is unfortunate that Dr. Chiang wasn't able to put to writing his research and methods but there is always hope for a way.
Dear readers, of course, the book and the author is a hoax. But then, if you wish to become a social doctor and write about our social ills to inspire future treatments and cures, you have free dibs on the idea. ;-)
*A coined term from the words, "glib" and "lips". It is also known as the "con man's tongue" or "snake oil salesman's mouth" syndrome. It is a sickness where the patient is compelled to speak sweetly and convincingly of a false truth with the intent of hoodwinking his fellow man.