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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin makes unproven claim that dengue was ‘made and discovered’ in PH


Dengue was made and discovered in the Philippines.



The World Health Organization, in a 1996 study on dengue, said, “The exact date when dengue fever was first recognized in the world is still obscure.” Experts also note that the origin of the dengue virus is not yet clear because of its shared clinical symptoms with other mosquito-borne viral illnesses.

Jul 19, 2022



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This article was updated to correct the date of publication of the WHO study. The original version stated it was in 1996, when it should be 1993. We apologize for the mistake.

Urging the government to revisit the policy of using dengvaxia vaccine against dengue amid rising cases of the disease in the country, Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin said the mosquito-borne infection was “made and discovered” in the Philippines. This is unproven.

Watch this video:

In Southeast Asia, the first epidemic outbreak of dengue was reported to have occurred in the Philippines in the 1950s. WHO described this outbreak as severe dengue, or dengue hemorrhagic fever, which affected many children. Severe dengue causes serious bleeding, organ impairment, respiratory distress, among other flu-like symptoms.


On July 11, the Department of Health reported over 64,000 dengue cases from Jan. 1 to June 25, registering a 90% increase from the agency’s record in 2021.

While there remains no cure for dengue, physician Arthur Roman, an infectious disease specialist at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, reminded the public to use insect repellents and mosquito nets (kulambo) when sleeping, cover water containers where mosquitoes could breed, and get rid of stagnant water sources to prevent infection.


Editor’s note: This article was updated to correct the date of publication of the WHO study. The original version stated it was in 1996, when it should be 1993. We apologize for the mistake.

This article was again updated on Aug. 3, 2022 to reflect the video fact check.

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CNN Philippines Official Youtube Channel, Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin | The Source, July 13, 2022

Department of Health, Health Advisory: Dengue, Accessed July 13, 2022

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Is it Chikungunya or Dengue?, Oct. 14, 2015

World Health Organization, Chikungunya fact sheet, Sept. 15, 2020

The Pharmaceutical Journal, Dengue fever and chikungunya: identification in travellers, May 8, 2015

National Library of Medicine (Clinical Microbiology Reviews), Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, July 1998

Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease), Dengue and Zika Viruses: Epidemiological History, Potential Therapies, and Promising Vaccines, Sept. 23, 2020

National Library of Medicine (Emerging Infectious Diseases), Dengue/dengue hemorrhagic fever: the emergence of a global health problem, April – June 1995

The Public Library of Science (Neglected Tropical Diseases), Epidemiology of Dengue Disease in the Philippines (2000–2011): A Systematic Literature Review, Nov. 6, 2014

World Health Organization, Dengue and severe dengue, Jan. 10, 2022, DOH logs 64,797 dengue cases, up 90% from 2021, July 11, 2022

GMA News Online, DOH: Philippines’ dengue cases up 90% this year at 64,797, July 11, 2022, Dengue cases hit nearly 65,000 from January to June 25; 90% up from last year, July 11, 2022Research Institute for Tropical Medicine Official Facebook Page,  RITM Live: Ask the Expert (Episode 04) feat. Dr. Arthur Dessi Roman, June 9, 2022


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)


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