Panic Over Pangasinan Mysterious Skin Disease: Media’s Fault?

After the typhoon Yolanda last November, the news about the prophecies of Sadhu Sundar Selvaraja of Jesus Ministries spread all over the internet. This prophet, who came to the country last April 2013, said that the Philippines will experience much destruction from severe floods, typhoons, and diseases.

One particular prophecy is about a skin disease that will eat the flesh and will pierce through the bones, which will spread all over the world and will start in a place called Pangasinan.

Last night, ABS-CBN’s Bandila featured two Pangasinan residents who have cases of a mysterious skin disease, as they said.  They also said that this disease is spreading.

They said it might be related to the prophecy.

I say it’s bad reporting.

How come they reported that this disease is spreading when they showed only two cases? They did not even report about any statistics on the number of people affected with this mysterious disease. They only caused unnecessary panic among the public. 😦

This is one of the topics we discussed at work today in the hospital. My senior said that if it is  a disease which the doctors cannot identify and indeed is mysterious, DOH or even WHO should be alerted so this case will be properly investigated. It would be shameful that the media is the first to investigate about this.

But analyzing more into the two reported cases, those two seemed to show two different kinds of diseases. The symptomatic presentation is not the same and they looked like chronic illnesses too and not even contagious since the other members of their households looked very far from being sufferers of the same condition.

It’s a relief though that DOH made a press conference regarding this matter. The two patients from the report are cases of severe psoriasis (a non-contagious, idiopathic, heredity-related skin disease), and drug reaction from leprosy drugs (a case which is also non-contagious).

Is the news informative? Did the DOH only said that to calm the people down? Or is the news an example of bad reporting just to make a trending news on twitter in exchange of causing fear and panic in the public?


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