February 9, 2023

The Department of Health has warned the public to be vigilant about information that are falsely attributed to the agency.
The DOH on Jan. 4 dispelled another false information about the Covid-19 XBB variant, a day after disowning a health bulletin that used the agency’s logo about an upper respiratory tract infection affecting China.
In a statement, the DOH said Memorandum 2022-0578, was issued to intensify surveillance activities amidst the reported rise in the number of cases in China.
The DOH warned the public to be cautious about messages using the memorandum to spread inaccurate information about the XBB variant.
“The DOH warns against messages linking the DOH memorandum to disseminate inaccurate information on XBB subvariant symptoms.The document was issued to intensify surveillance activities amidst rising Covid-19 cases abroad,” the advisory stated.
The agency said in general, Covid-19 exhibits flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, headache, body pain, and diarrhea. It advised the public to consult a physician or their nearest health facility for proper diagnosis of symptoms.
A search on the message containing the false information being spread about the XBB variant proved futile.
The DOH on Jan. 3 also issued an advisory disowning the health bulletin that used the agency’s logo and warned that the infection in China “quite serious” and “very potent and is resistant to existing antibiotics.”
The supposed false advisory identified the symptoms and provided tips on how the public can prevent being infected with the respiratory illness affecting China.
The DOH said the advisory did not come from any of its platforms and advised the public get information only from legitimate sources and platforms, particularly the DOH social media accounts and website.
The agency added any form of disease can be prevented by practicing healthy habits such as diet and exercise.
“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,” the agency reiterated. – Jane B. Cadalig