DOH debunks dengue myths

The Department of Health (DOH) has provided clarifications about dengue in response to the spreading myths about the virus.

This is in line with the observance of National Dengue Awareness Month this June by virtue of Proclamation No. 1204, series of 1998.

DOH Central Luzon Center for Health Development Entomologist Jeffrey De Guzman stated that one of the circulating myths about dengue is that individuals who have had dengue before will not get it again.

Department of Health Central Luzon Center for Health Development Entomologist Jeffrey De Guzman provides clarifications about dengue in response to the spreading myths about the virus. (Maria Asumpta Estefanie C. Reyes/PIA 3)

To correct this misconception, he explained that dengue has four serotypes. 

“Once a person has had dengue of one serotype, they will not get dengue from that type again. However, they can still get dengue from other types,” De Guzman stated.

Another myth is that people should avoid dengue patients because they are contagious.De Guzman stressed that it is unnecessary to avoid people with dengue.

“Dengue is only transmitted through the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito. Sneezing, saliva, or other secretions of an infected person are not contagious,” he clarified.

Moreover, there is a common belief that dengue mosquitoes only bite at night.

Contrary to this, De Guzman emphasized that mosquitoes carrying dengue often bite from sunrise to sunset; hence, they are called “day biters”.

DOH likewise clarified the misconception that dengue mosquitoes only lay eggs in dirty water or environments.

“Mosquitoes carrying dengue can lay eggs in stagnant or still water, even if it is clean and clear,” De Guzman said. 

Another concern is the belief that all mosquitoes carry the dengue virus. DOH pressed that not all mosquitoes carry the dengue virus. 

“Only the Aedes mosquito carries the dengue virus. But it does not mean that everyone can be complacent. Other types of mosquitoes can cause other diseases like malaria,” De Guzman underscored.

Regarding treatments, there is a misconception that the Tawa-tawa plant is an effective remedy for dengue.

“Tawa-tawa or Gatas-gatas has not yet been proven to cure dengue. For now, Tawa-tawa is only registered as a supplement. Further studies are needed to see the effect of Tawa-tawa against dengue,” De Guzman said.

Similarly, antibiotics are believed to be necessary for dengue treatment.

Meanwhile, De Guzman pointed out that dengue is caused by a virus; therefore, antibiotics, which are for bacteria, are not needed.

“Currently, there is no medicine for dengue. Hydration or sufficient water intake is the primary management for this disease,” he explained.

Lastly, the belief that dengue can last for weeks to months is also a myth.

“Like other viral infections, it can heal within a few days. However, the illness can last or extend for several weeks if there are complications,” De Guzman noted.

He also reiterated that dengue can pose serious health risks, potentially leading to complications that can be fatal.

Hence, it is encouraged to immediately consult the nearest healthcare providers when symptoms of dengue such as sudden fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and muscle and joint pains occur.

“Not everyone with dengue develops rashes. Don’t wait for rashes to appear before considering it might be dengue,” De Guzman stressed.

Furthermore, as dengue cases may rise due to the rainy season, DOH urged the public to practice the 4S approach against the virus.

This includes searching and destroying mosquito breeding sites; securing self-protection measures; seeking early consultation; and supporting fogging or spraying only in hotspot areas where increasing cases are registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak. (CLJD/MAECR, PIA Region 3-Nueva Ecija)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :