FACT CHECK: Applying Coconut Oil on your Legs and Feet Won’t Protect You from Dengue…

False Medical

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many other seasonal diseases have also created health risks in different part of the country. Dengue fever is one of the most prominent disease among these. Many people lose their life due to Dengue every year. Even today, many states in our country have been experiencing an outbreak of Dengue fever.

In this context, many messages regarding precautions to be undertaken by individuals and societies to prevent Dengue are being shared by Government and health officials. Also, there are social media posts advising people on precautions to be taken for avoiding Dengue. One such post that caught our attention is spreading widely on WhatsApp and other social media platforms. This message claims that applying Coconut oil on your legs below your knee would protect you from Mosquito bites and thus from contracting Dengue.

The post also goes on the claim that the mosquitoes can’t fly above your knee! The message sounds Bizarre! But people have been sharing the message believing that humble coconut oil can actually save them from a Fatal disease like Dengue. The high number of shares can also be attributed to the fact that the message has been attribute to a Dr. B. Sukumar, Tirupati Saisudha Hospital. However, Fact Crescendo found that the claims are not only Bizarre but false as well. Let us understand what is being claimed in the viral message and what is the truth.

Claim

Photo of a handwritten note is being circulated among social media in the name of a doctor claiming coconut oil is effective against dengue fever. The message in English attributed to some Dr. B Sukumar in English at Tirupati Saisudha Hospital is as follows: “This message is to inform you all that Dengue viral is going on. So please use coconut oil below your knees till your footsteps. It is a antibiotic. And a Dengue mosquito cannot fly higher than knees. So please keep this in mind & start using it. Spread this message as much as you can. Your one message can save many life’s” 

Dr. b. Sukumar Saisudha Hospital Tirupati.

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One of the readers sent us a message on our What’s app chat box asking the reality of this information. However, Factcrescendo found it is false information moreover it has no connection with the doctor mentioned in the viral message. Read below to understand how we came to this conclusion.

Fact Check

While researching on social media, we found that the same message has been translated and shared in various languages by users who presumed this information to be truthful.

First of all, Factcrescendo contacted Sri Saisudha Hospital in Tirupati to verify the veracity of this message. When we spoke to Dr. Sukumar, he clarified: “I am an orthopedist. This is a false campaign that has been going on in my name for many years. I have never posted a message like this anywhere. Message is totally false. Moreover, it has not yet been scientifically proven that coconut oil has any such benefits against Dengue fever.” 

As Dr. Sukumar said, the message has been circulating on social media in his name since past many years. Here is one such post circulating on Facebook since 2017. since 2017. According to the World Health Organization‘s report on dengue prevention and control measures, dengue may become fatal in the coming years. Significant distress can be expected in Asia, Africa and Latin America. According to a similar study published by WHO, mosquitoes that cause dengue, have a range of flying up to 400 meters, so the claim that mosquitoes do not bite above the knees is incorrect.

Let us share some of the information we found in our research to see if coconut oil has antibiotic effects. Nowhere is it scientifically proven that coconut oil has the ability to fight deadly diseases like dengue.

Source: The Conversation

Monolaurin is a substance that is isolated from coconut oil. It is used to fight simple bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Monolaurin has gained popularity as an effective infection fighter. But Monolaurin is not directly present in coconut oil. A study carried on mice proved that coconut oil does not act as a disinfectant. 

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Read in Malayalam: FACT CHECK: ഡെങ്കി പരത്തുന്ന കൊതുകിൽ നിന്നും രക്ഷയ്ക്കായി കാലിൽ വെളിച്ചെണ്ണ പുരട്ടിയാൽ മതിയെന്ന പഴയ വ്യാജ പ്രചരണം വീണ്ടും വൈറലാകുന്നു…

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Before Fact Crescendo, many other organizations have debunked this misinformation over the past many years. You can read a few of such fact checks using the links given below:

TNIETBS NewsBangalore Mirror

Conclusion

From our investigation it is clear that the contents of the viral message are as absurd as bizarre they are. The message has been misattributed to Dr. Sukumar who himself has clarified that he has no association with the viral message. The claims made in the message are also scientifically incorrect and coconut oil can’t protect you from mosquito bites and thus Dengue. We request our readers to consult a medical expert for health related advice and don’t forward such misleading messages. You can share any suspicious content with us for verification on our WhatsApp Tip Line number 9049053770.

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Title:Applying Coconut Oil on your Legs and Feet Won’t Protect You from Dengue…

Fact Check By: Deepa M 

Result: False


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