Lingayen- - -“It is unfounded, not true, and baseless. There is no such thing as a “mysterious skin disease nor a flesh-eating bacteria spreading in Pangasinan.”
This was the affirmation made by Provincial Health Officer Anna Teresa de Guzman in a press conference held February 25 at the Kalantiao conference room here to clear the issue that a so-called “flesh-eating” disease is fast spreading in the province as reported on a late national TV news program last night, February 24.
Dr. de Guzman said that the alleged issue (which went viral on social media) has caused panic not only to the people of Pangasinan but even those living abroad.
|Dr. Anna Teresa de Guzman, head of Pangasinan Pro-|
vincial Health Office, diagnoses one of the alleged
victim of the flesh eating disease in the province.
Early morning today, Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. has directed the Provincial Health Officer to conduct a swift investigation on the reported two Pangasinenses who were allegedly suffering from a “mysterious” skin disease.
According to Dr. De Guzman she led the Provincial Health Office (PHO) team that went to personally check on the condition of a certain Mary Grace from Sta. Barbara town and a certain Alex in Villasis town who allegedly are suffering from the mysterious disease.
The PHO chief said that based on medical report, Mary Grace has undergone leprosy treatment two years ago when she was 19 years old.
De Guzman explained that treatment for leprosy usually takes a year.
Further, she said that the disease which can only be transferred through droplet (through saliva, sneezing) and open wound contact. Leprosy, which is curable, is not airborne (transmitted through the air), she said.
Mary Grace’s case, according to her, was aggravated from an adverse reaction from a multi-drug therapy (hypersensitivity), thus skin lesions were developed.
Alex (the second patient) is suffering from psoriasis, an auto-immune disease which is acquired through chromosomal genes. His disease was further aggravated by arthritis.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but can be controlled, as explained by the provincial health officer.
“These two cases are not that of the rare necrotizing fasciitis (scientific term) or flesh-eating disease (layman’s term). There is no reason at all for the public to panic,” she disclosed.
On orders of Governor Espino, the two patients were brought to the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital to undergo further treatment and to assess other underlying health conditions.
Dr. De Guzman likewise said that the provincial government is exerting all efforts to provide healthier environ for the 2.7 million Pangasinenses as health care is the main thrust of the Espino administration.
“Aside from the facilities in placed, we have several health projects on deck part of which is the Kilatis Kutis,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Orpheus M. Velasco, Public Information Officer, has appealed for responsible reportage on the part of the media.
“Let us not sensationalize a story that would only cause undue panic,” he said.
It can be recalled that a prophecy by self-titled prophet Vincent Selvakumar of the Voice of Jesus Ministries in April 2013 said a flesh-eating disease would spread from Pangasinan to the world.
“Sometimes, the media attempts to exaggerate to make news sensational...they just connected it to the prophecy,” Dr. De Guzman earlier said.