FALSE: No cases of dengue in India

At a glance
  • Claim: There are no cases of dengue in India. 
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Dengue is an endemic disease in India and thousands of cases are recorded each year. There is currently no cure or specific treatment for dengue.
  • Why we fact-checked this: A post by Facebook user “Strel Win” with this claim was flagged by Facebook Claim Check, a tool that monitors dubious content on the platform. As of writing, the post has gained 29,000 reactions and 7,600 shares. 
Complete details

Facebook user “Strel Win” posted a photo on October 31, 2015, with the claim that there were no cases of dengue in India. The post was still circulating as of March 2021. As of writing, the post has gained 29,000 reactions and 7,600 shares.

The post contained the following text: “Bakit ayaw ituro ng DOH na ang mabisang gamot sa dengue ay ang katas sa dahon ng papaya? Sa India may dengue ba? Wala.” 

(Why doesn’t the DOH teach us that the juice of papaya leaves is an effective cure for dengue. Are there cases of dengue in India? No.) 

This claim is false. 

Dengue – a mosquito-borne viral infection with an estimated 100 million to 400 million cases a year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) – is endemic to India. 

A 2019 study published by the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet Global Health estimated that, in 2017, the number of dengue infections among individuals aged 5 to 45 years from 30 Indian states was at 12,991,357.

The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India releases statistics on the number of total dengue cases in the country. In 2015, 99,913 dengue cases were recorded. Meanwhile, in 2020, a total of 39,419 cases were recorded, and this year there are 4,688 cases as of March.

The post also claimed that juice from papaya leaves was an effective cure for dengue. This had previously been proven false by Indian digital news platform The New Minute and independent fact-checkers Vera Files and BOOM in 2019. 

There is no cure or specific treatment for dengue. It is only treated according to symptoms and severity.

Rappler has fact-checked health-related claims before. Click the links below to read more about claims that we've debunked:

– Sofia Guanzon/Rappler.com

Sofia Guanzon is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler's research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler's internship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.