CHENNAI: With an increasing number of dengue cases in the city, it’s only natural that people have become more cautious and taken all steps to prevent the disease from affecting their family. This is also a time when a lot of misleading tips are doing the rounds on social media, which leads people to take the wrong kind of precaution.
Such a message recently went viral that not only spread wrong advice but also gave false information on how the disease spread. The message read that coconut oil would help prevent mosquitoes from biting and advised the reader to only apply the oil from below the knee as Dengue mosquitoes only attacked below the knee. It also claimed that the reason why mosquitoes bit only that part of the body is because they cannot fly higher than the length of the leg.
Doctors completely dismiss this theory and said that one of the reasons that make dengue mosquitoes dangerous is their ability to breed even in clean water. “Mosquitoes can fly anywhere and everywhere, and can bite any part of the body. It’s not scientifically proven that coconut oil prevents mosquitoes from biting. The best prevention is to cover yourself fully from head to toe. Clean environment is enough to prevent the disease from affecting your family,” said Dr Niku Srinivasan, Institute of Child Health Hospital.
He added that families should go back to using mosquito nets while sleeping. “Not many people are choosing to use nets but it is one of the best preventive measures to take,” he explained. Doctors advice people to not believe everything that’s posted on social media. “Always consult your general physician and get the right information,” they said.