Manila health officials have denied reports that a child has died of Japanese encephalitis in a hospital in the city.
“These are nothing but fake news spread on social media,” Dr. Regina Bagsic, overall coordinator of the six city-run hospitals, said on Sunday.
Several social media posts claimed that a 9-year-old child from Barangay Kasilawan in Makati City was admitted at Sta. Ana Hospital on Sept. 13. The patient reportedly passed away three days later due to the mosquito-borne disease.
“The patient actually died of dengue shock syndrome,” Bagsic said, citing official medical records.
Quoting Department of Heath records, Manila heath department chief Dr. Benjamin Yson said that no case of Japanese encephalitis had been reported in Manila or the National Capital Region.
Of the 133 JE cases confirmed by the DOH, nine deaths have been recorded so far, seven in Central Luzon and one each in the Ilocos and Calabarzon regions.
While dengue becomes fatal due to high fever leading to shock (low blood pressure), Japanese encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that causes seizures, paralysis and coma with a 30-percent fatality. It has no known cure.
Both diseases have similar symptoms, including high fever that lasts several days, chills, headaches, fatigue and nausea.
The dengue virus, however, is carried by Aedes mosquitoes, while Japanese encephalitis is carried by the Culex variety.
Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial earlier said there were 50 percent fewer JE cases this year compared to 2016: 133 confirmed JE cases as of Aug. 26 compared to last year’s 273.
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