Governor Amado Espino, Jr. has directed early morning today Provincial Health Officer Anna Teresa De Guzman to conduct a swift investigation on the two Pangasinenses who are allegedly suffering from a “mysterious” skin disease as reported on a late national TV news program last night, February 24.
According to Dr. De Guzman the two reported patients are now admitted at the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital to undergo further treatment and medical diagnosis.
She further added that both cases are controllable and there is no truth to the rumor that a so-called “flesh-eating” illness is fast spreading in the province.
Pangasinan health office: No cases of flesh-eating disease
The Provincial health office of Pangasinan debunked on Tuesday rumors of a mysterious flesh-eating disease said to be spreading in the province.
According to a report on GMA’s “News TV Live” Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Maria Anna Theresa de Guzman said at a press conference in Lingayen that the reported victims of the alleged flesh-eating disease are a girl who had leprosy and a 21-year-old male suffering from psoriasis.
The girl, who lives in the municipality of Sta. Barbara, was diagnosed with leprosy two years ago and had been treated for it.
She apparently had a drug reaction which triggered the leprosy to resurface, the report said, citing De Guzman.
The man, who lives in the munipality of Villasis, has psoriasis and an accompanying ailment, psoriatic arthritis, which prevents him from walking.
Both have been brought to the Pangasinan provincial hospital in San Carlos City for further treatment. — Andrei Medina/BM, GMA News
‘MYSTERIOUS SKIN DISEASE IN PANGASINAN, NOT TRUE’ – PHO CHIEF
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.
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.