DOH disowns bulletin on alleged ‘upper respiratory infection’ from China

January 4, 2023 - 11:08 AM
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This June 2016 photo shows Shrine of Saint Lazarus or San Lazaro Hospital, DOH Compound, Rizal Avenue, Santa Cruz, Manila. (Judgefloro/Wikimedia Commons)

The Department of Health disowned a circulating health bulletin about a new respiratory infection that supposedly originated in China.

In a statement on January 3, DOH shared a blurred screenshot of the health bulletin that used the name of the agency in its message.

The health department then stated that this message did not come from any of its verified platforms.

“The Department of Health warns the public against an alleged circulated DOH Bulletin Message about an Upper Respiratory Infection in China, which maliciously uses the agency’s name. The DOH would like to clarify that the message did not come from any verified platforms of the department,” it said.

DOH further advised the public to only access information from its website and official social media platforms.

So far, there are no new reported respiratory infections in China that international health organizations have expressed concern about.

It should be noted that an upper respiratory infection (URI) is also known as the “common cold” that both children and adults can catch.

According to John Hopkins Medicine, common colds are more common among children younger than six years old.

“Colds happen when a virus irritates (inflames) the lining of the nose and throat. Colds can be caused by more than 200 different viruses. But most colds are caused by rhinoviruses,” the website said.

In the same statement, DOH reminded the public that respiratory illnesses and other conditions can be best prevented with proper diet, exercise and other healthy habits.

“In general, respiratory diseases, as well as other communicable diseases, can be prevented by employing layers of protection such as sanitation, masking, distancing, good ventilation and vaccination,” it said.