Filipinos went crazy online after stories about a so-called flesh-eating disease in Pangasinan went viral in various social media sites especially on Facebook and Twitter. The disease, many people claim, is a sign that the prophecies of a prophet named Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj are coming true. However, the whole thing, as any rational person would notice, is nothing but a hoax.
A netizen named Jeffrey Corpuz posted the following on his Facebook wall and it perfectly encapsulates the thoughts of people who are actually thinking rationally and reasonably. We are re-posting the whole text of his post here in the hope that more people will be able to read it because it deserves to be read.
Here it is:
People, this will be my first and last take on the so called "flesh-eating" prophecy - its a sham.let me enumerate my thoughts:
1) Two isolated cases in a province that has a population of almost 3 million do not equate to a prevalent disease and most especially not to an epidemic. Go back to your epidemiology basics.
2) The two cases shown, based on the images that I saw, are not similar. They may be both a blistering skin disease, but that definitely does not make them the same.
3) The manner by which the news was presented was maliciously tainted, from the spiels to the hashtag and captions.the reporter was donned in a gown, wearin mask and cap, giving the false impression that the disease is highly contagious. If it were, wouldn't the people who are in close contact with the patient, say the family, be already afflicted with the same disease?
4) There is no such thing as a "mysterious" disease. There are however diseases that are difficult to diagnose, more commonly, misdiagnosed and ultimately mismanged. Were the patients brought to a reputable dermatologist? A PDS (philippine dermatological society) board certified dermatologist at that? Was the biopsy read by a dermatopathologist? Was it just a simple H and E stain? Were more specific and diagnostic stains employed to read the biopsy results?
5) Both diseases were exacerbated after going to the albularyo. People, plant extracts contain tannins and resins etc which are irritants or allergens---the result,an existing skin disease complicated by contact dermatitis secondary to boiled whatever leaves used as compress or "langgas".
6) I am a christian. I do not believe in prophecies.PERIOD
7) I am amazed at how some blatantly ignore the media dogma " responsible reporting".
8) Please help and bring these patients to a specialist in Metro Manila. I am not discounting the fact that there are indeed qualified and competent specialists in Pangasinan, there are, but sadly the sophisticated and more appropriate diagnostic procedures are lacking.
So there, please be guided accordingly. For further reading about the truth on the issue, you may read an article by the Philippine Daily Inquirer here.
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