Spotting dengue misinformation

You may find articles or social media posts claiming there are cures for dengue. At present, there is no cure – though there are proven ways to lower your risk of infection.

The types of myths that circulate can vary. For example, some people claim that applying plant oils to the skin might prevent mosquito bites, and others claim that certain foods might be a cure. At the time of writing, there was no conclusive evidence to support these claims.1  

How can you tell whether something is accurate when you come across it online?  

Who can you trust?

Reliable sources of information include: 


The World Health Organization (WHO). Here is their webpage about dengue fever.

Your government health website, for example, iDengue, Infosihat and Myhealth.

University and research institute websites, which often promote new research and may have clear information about new studies.

What is the source? Check the logo, to make sure it really is the site it claims to be. If a journalist has written the article, search to see what else they have written and whether they seem reliable.2

Some social media accounts imitate real accounts. Is the account verified by the social media platform?  

Is it grammatical and correctly spelled? If not, it’s probably unreliable. Look out for lots of capital letters and exclamation marks too – these should make you suspicious.

The bigger the claim, the greater the evidence needed to back it up. Sound medical research goes through rigorous testing in a series of clinical trials and the results are checked by scientific experts and editors to correct inaccuracies before being published in a journal. Check if there is a reference to a clinical trial or a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Fact-checking websites cover common false medical news stories. Check with AP Fact Check, Full Fact or Health News Review, or run a search for the title of the article, or its main claims to see if mainstream media have flagged it as false.3

Finally, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Check it out before you share information more widely.  

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Usage of Traditional and Complementary Medicine among Dengue Fever Patients in the Northeast Region of Peninsular Malaysia. Available at: [Accessed February 2022.]

  1. British Broadcasting Company. How to spot misleading health news.  Available at: [Accessed March 2022.]

  1. The Conversation. How to spot coronavirus fake news – an expert guide. Available at: [Accessed March 2022.]