Claims that coconut oil is an antibiotic and may forestall dengue fever have circulated for years in widely-shared social media posts in nations together with the Philippines and India. The claims are false; specialists together with the World Health Organization have advised AFP that coconut oil just isn’t an antibiotic and may neither forestall nor remedy dengue fever.
A photograph of a purported hospital discover was revealed right here on a Facebook web page referred to as Philippines Report on July 4, 2019, with a caption saying: “For public consciousness”.
The purported discover says: “This message is to tell you all that dengue viral is happening. So please use coconut oil beneath your knees until your footsteps. It is an antibiotic. And a dengue mosquito cannot fly larger than knees. So please maintain this in thoughts & begin utilizing it. Spread this message to as a lot as you possibly can. Your one message can save many life’s. Dr. B. Sukumar, Sri Saisudha Hospital.”
Below is a screenshot of the deceptive submit:
Similar claims about the advantages of coconut oil in defending in opposition to dengue have circulated on-line for years, for instance right here in a September 19, 2016 submit on an Indian Facebook web page. The same submit was additionally shared right here on Twitter.
The declare is fake, in accordance with specialists from World Health Organization, the International Vaccine Institute, and the University of the Philippines’ National Institutes of Health.
Dengue is a illness brought on by a virus unfold primarily by feminine mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti, in accordance with this descripton revealed on the World Health Organization web site on April 29, 2018.
“Coconut oil just isn’t an antibiotic. There isn’t any proof to indicate that it could forestall or remedy dengue,” Dr Gawrie Loku Galappaththy, Medical Officer, Malaria and different Vectorborne and Parasitic Diseases from WHO Philippines advised AFP in an electronic mail despatched on July 10, 2019.
Dr Anh Wartel from the International Vaccine Institute, a physique which develops vaccines for various ailments together with dengue mentioned antibiotics usually are not used for viral infections.
“Coconut oil just isn’t an antibiotic. There isn’t any proof to indicate that it could forestall or remedy dengue.”
“Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial an infection, not for viral an infection,” she advised AFP in an electronic mail on July 7.
Dr Edsel Salvana, Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology on the National Institutes of Health-University of the Philippines Manila and adjunct Professor for Global Health on the University of Pittsburgh mentioned there isn’t any dependable scientific knowledge which proves that coconut oil can forestall or remedy dengue.
“It just isn’t an antibiotic within the sense you could reliably use it for remedy of an infection. It does have some antimicrobial properties however there aren’t any randomized managed trials which have confirmed its efficacy in lively an infection. It can’t be used to stop dengue. There isn’t any dependable scientific knowledge that it could forestall dengue or any organic mechanism that reveals that it could remedy dengue. This can solely be proven by a randomized managed trial and I’m unaware of any trials which have been revealed in respected peer-reviewed scientific journals”, he mentioned in an electronic mail to AFP on July 8.
Salvana additionally mentioned any oil can be utilized as a “barrier for mosquito bites”, however they aren’t dependable.
“Any oil can be utilized as a barrier for mosquito bites, however these usually are not dependable or sensible over the course of a day. Proven mosquito repellents like DEET have a chemical repellant impact on mosquitoes. There is one research that research compounds with mosquito and different insect repellant properties of fatty acids derived from coconut oil however these are concentrated extracts, and unprocessed coconut oil had no impact on steady flies and was not examined in opposition to mosquitoes”, he mentioned.
The specialists additionally agreed that it’s not true that mosquitoes which unfold dengue can not fly larger than the knees.
In an electronic mail to AFP on July 7, Wartel mentioned: “Aedes aegypti, contaminated mosquitoes can transmit dengue, they might spend their lifetime in or across the homes the place they emerge as adults and so they normally fly a median of 400 meters. It just isn’t correct to state that they can not fly larger than the knees”.
In an electronic mail to AFP on July 8, Salvana mentioned: “The dengue carrying mosquito Aedes aegypti is mostly low flying and day biting however it could chew above the knees with none issues. The false impression might be as a result of truth the the mosquito is conventional solely related to low altitudes <2000 meters. However, with world warming the mosquitoes are actually beginning to tolerate larger elevations and have been discovered above 2000 meters”.
“The dengue carrying mosquito Aedes aegypti… can chew above the knees with none issues.”
In addition, the physician recognized because the writer of the general public well being warning on this deceptive submit, Dr. B. Sukumar, advised AFP he didn’t challenge such discover.
“This message is being shared on-line for previous Four years. I’ve already denied issuing any discover. I do not know why yearly this message will get shared on WhatsApp. It is a pretend information, I’ve by no means issued any alert or such discover,” he mentioned July 5.