Reports of a mysterious "flesh-eating disease" in Pangasinan a hoax, says DOH
The report might be false, but it sure caused panic among the public.
Inquirer.net reports that Health Secretary Enrique Ona urged the public on Tuesday (February 25) "not to panic over a supposed 'flesh-eating' skin disease in Pangasinan, saying the persons who are featured in a recent television report are suffering, specifically, from psoriasis and leprosy.
According to the report, Ona made the clarification "after ABS-CBN reported in their late-night program Bandila that a 'mysterious flesh-eating disease' is slowly spreading in Pangasinan." The video of the report became viral a few hours after it aired and the hashtag #PrayForPangasinan trended on Twitter.
Adding to the panic was the resurgence of a rumoured "prophecy" self-titled prophet Vincent Selvakumar of the Voice of Jesus Ministries, which claimed that "a flesh-eating disease would spread from the Ilocos province to the world."
Pangasinan provincial health officer Dr. Anna Guzman said the case studies featured in the report "were not that of the rare necrotizing fasciitis, a serious bacterial infection that spreads rapidly and destroys the body's soft tissue."
For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net.