Dengue, the deadly viral infection, has become a permanent feature of the winters in India. Every year, thousands of cases are reported and despite so much of awareness, many people die due to this viral infection. Dengue virus is transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the species Aedes aegypti and, to a lesser extent, Ae. albopictus. From flu-like simpler symptoms to severe cases where patient needs to be hospitalised, dengue has been the silent killer. According to the World Health Organization, one modelling estimate indicates 390 million dengue virus infections per year.
Another study on the prevalence of dengue estimates that 3.9 billion people are at risk of infection with dengue viruses. Asia is the worst-affected region in the world. The number of dengue cases reported to WHO increased ~6 fold, from <0.5 million in 2010 to over 3.34 million in 2016, the WHO said.
So, at a time when several people are battling out with this deadly infection, a message has gone viral that claims coconut oil can prevent dengue. “Experts suggest natural methods like neem & coconut oil concoctions or garlic to keep the mosquito-borne disease #dengue at bay. #BeatDengue,” reads the viral message. Several people have been sharing this message both on WhatsApp and on Twitter.
Prevention is better than cure ♥ï¸ pic.twitter.com/q6q0JvKokW— thaman S (@MusicThaman) October 11, 2017
In case you Google ‘coconut oil benefits’, you will get more than about 9,44,00,000 results! Harvard research has also said that coconut oil is extremely useful natural product. “Coconut oil is 100% fat, 80-90% of which is saturated fat. This gives it a firm texture at cold or room temperatures. Fat is made up of smaller molecules called fatty acids, and there are several types of saturated fatty acids in coconut oil,” the Harvard research said. The study further said that the coconut oil contained no cholesterol, no fiber, and only traces of vitamins, minerals, and plant sterols.
So, is coconut oil the magic potion? Well, the answer is both yes and no! According to Alt News, medically speaking, coconut oil has no such anti-viral properties as claimed by the message.
News Nation investigated the viral claim and found out that though the Ayurvedas do laud the beneficial qualities of coconut oil, however, prevention from dengue is not one of them. Experts say that coconut oil just like other vegetable oils may have some repelling qualities, however, simply applying coconut oil will not save you from dengue.