Blood

  • How true is claim heart massage increases blood circulation?

    Claim: A viral WhatsApp video claims doing a few minutes heart massage and breathing exercises would increase blood circulation in two weeks.

    Verdict: This is disinformation. Experts say this massage will, at best, only provide psychological relief and does not affect blood circulation in any way.

    Full Text

    Dubawa received a WhatsApp message which included a video on June 22, 2021, claiming that doing the massage routine in the attached video is capable of curing heart blockages. The message attached to the video claimed the procedure “had saved thousands from heart blockages” and that those who had tried it confirmed it cured them from “back pain” in “just seven days”. This message and video have been shared on numerous WhatsApp groups and private chats after that date.

    Screen shot of the WhatsApp message

    Dubawa watched the video produced by Austin Goh, who led the over three minutes exercise, explaining to viewers how to do the heart massage and breathing procedures that would increase blood circulation. He also added voice overs from time to time, noting what each procedure would help viewers achieve, and promising them relief if they practised the procedure for two weeks.

    Screenshot of the conclusion of the video

    Who is Austin Goh?

    Austin Goh, a Chinese born in Malaysia, is a self-proclaimed natural therapist who says he helps “people with chronic health problems get rid of their pain”. He was a martial artist who had an injury and defied medical advice to amputate. He claimed he rehabilitated his shattered knee by himself and has been helping people overcome health issues like chronic sinusitis since January, 1984. He teaches Wing Chun Kung Fu at Austin Goh Martial Arts Academy in London and has degrees in Physical Education and English Language from England. Austin Goh has a Youtube channel with 798 thousand subscribers and 388 uploaded videos. 

    Screenshot of Austin Goh’s Youtube Page

    The Video

    Dubawa searched for the blood circulation video and found that it was posted on Youtube on February 1, 2019 and it had been watched 6,411 times with 87 likes and only 2 dislikes. 

    Screenshot of the video description on Youtube

    Many viewers or subscribers believed it and asked questions on how they could maximise the benefits of the massage for blood circulation.

    Screenshot of a viewer asking questions about the exercise

    Another viewer commends the procedure and extolled its benefits

    S

    Screenshot of a subscriber commending the exercise

    We also have skeptics who doubt the procedure and shared their thoughts on Mr. Goh’s page.

    Screenshot of a doubtful or confused viewer’s comments

    Verification

    Dubwa shared the video with two Consultant Cardiologists in Nigeria who both say there is no medical or scientific evidence to back Goh’s theory.

    Dr. Hassan Olayinka Olaiwola, a Consultant Cardiologist with Grandville Medical and Laser in Lagos State, Nigeria, says the procedure is pure fallacy and that rubbing or massaging the chest around the heart area does not affect or influence blood circulation. Dr. Olaiwola commented that “at best”, the exercise “would give the person doing it some psychological relief”.

    Dr. Sanni Saheed of Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, told Dubawa that he “watched the video to the end” and it is “pure disinformation”, arguing that “none of the actions in the video improves the cardiac function or blood flow”.

    Dr. Sanni said he knows people are eager to take care of their health and he therefore recommended walking for about 30 minutes daily, jogging, using the treadmill as scientifically backed exercises to help the heart. He says the exercises also “improve cardiopulmonary functions” which are the interrelationship between the workings of the heart and lung organs.


    Conclusion

    The internet is full of many self-professed natural health therapists who put the lives of their audiences at risk for psychological and financial gains. The claim by Austin Goh is false. Experts say this massage will, at best, only provide psychological relief and does not affect blood circulation in any way.

  • Taking raw eggs with milk – or anything – not healthy for humans

    Claim: Intake of fresh egg as energy and blood booster

    No scientific findings indicate that intake of raw eggs builds energy and blood; rather, raw eggs can be dangerous to humans if infected ones are taken.

    Full Text

    Belief about intake of raw eggs sometimes comes in different ways. Sometimes, it is said to be taken with malt to boost blood, and at other times, it is claimed that administering egg raw with milk to a dying human saves life.

    In the 1970s, a legendary movie star, Rocky Balboa, drank more than four raw eggs first thing in the morning. After this movie, several people believed that drinking raw eggs is healthy for human consumption.

    A fitness video on YouTube displayed eating  raw egg as a way to rebuild the body. The video was titled; Post Workout Out Meal, Raw Eggs “Rocky Style” (Eat within 13 minutes).

    Google defines egg as an oval or round object laid by a female bird, reptile, fish, or invertebrate, usually containing a developing embryo. The eggs of birds are enclosed in a chalky shell, while those of reptiles are in a leathery membrane .

    Benefits and Disadvantage of eating raw eggs

    The United States of America Agriculture Department says one whole and large egg contains calories, proteins, fat, and carbohydrate.

    Healthline, a foreign online health publication says a single large boiled egg contains several vitamins important for human health.

    Information is lacking on the digestibility of either raw or cooked egg protein, but according to a study, cooking eggs makes it easy for  the body to be able to use almost twice as much of the protein found in raw eggs.

    An Australian non-profit company, Australian eggs, which provides marketing and research & development (R&D) services for the benefit of Australian egg farmers, notes that drinking or eating raw eggs offers no major advantages over eating poached or boiled eggs. Despite raw eggs containing slightly more nutrients, the nutrients in cooked eggs are in fact easier for your body to digest and absorb. 

    The report says while it’s generally safe to consume raw eggs as there are very few reasons to do so. Raw eggs typically contain the same benefits as cooked eggs but they don’t aid nutrient absorption quite as well, Australian eggs report said, adding that eating raw eggs also comes with a small risk of Salmonella food poisoning which is never advisable to be eaten by raw children, pregnant women elderly people and other weak immune people.

    The United States Department of Food and Drugs Administration estimated that 79,000 cases of foodborne illness and 30 deaths each year are caused by eating eggs contaminated with Salmonella

    The United States Minnesota Department of Health defines Salmonellosis as an infection with a bacteria called Salmonella. Salmonella lives in the intestinal tracts of animals, including birds. Salmonella are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces.

    The World Health Organization says Salmonella is 1 of 4 key global causes of diarrhoeal diseases and is generally contracted through the consumption of contaminated food of animal origin (mainly eggs, meat, poultry, and milk), although other foods, including green vegetables contaminated by manure, have been implicated in its transmission.

    WHO says the burden of foodborne diseases is substantial in which every year almost 1 in 10 people fall ill and 33 million of healthy life years are lost.

    “Most cases of salmonellosis are mild; however, sometimes it can be life-threatening. The severity of the disease depends on host factors and the serotype of Salmonella. The basic food hygiene practices, such as thorough cooking are recommended as a preventive measure against salmonellosis, WHO said.

    Dubawa  findings reveal that any food meant to be cooked, if eaten raw, will be difficult to digest. Recently, Dubawa debunked  a WhatsApp message that claims that eating raw crayfish could aid one who does not swim to swim better. However, findings reveal that any food  meant to be cooked if eaten raw has no nutritional benefits

    Michelle Umeadi, a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and Member of British Dietetic Association, said it is unhealthy to eat or drink raw egg.

    Mrs. Umeadi told Dubawa that eating raw egg is toxic to people and cooking destroys germs.

    “There is living microorganism sometimes in egg and  if you drink it with the microorganism,  that is what can kill the person”, Umeadi added

    Conclusion

    Drinking or eating raw eggs could be dangerous to humans and there is no scientific backing to the claim that intake of raw eggs rebuild energy or blood.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with Today.FM to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • Sub-Saharan Africans Are NOT Blessed With Coronavirus Resistant Skin or Blood

    Chinese Doctors confirm African skin resists Coronavirus infection, says newswatchnigeria.com and other sites

    There is no evidence to suggest “black people’s” immunity to the virus, or conversely “white people’s” vulnerability to it. The World Health Organisation (WHO) already stated that anyone in proximity to an infected person is at risk of contracting it (COVID-19). 

    Full Text

    The major outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan China has caused pandemonium with countries setting measures in place to curb its spread. Other than tackling the epidemic, the media now faces an onslaught of resultant misinformation.

    WhatsApp Screenshot

    Recently, a blog post said that Chinese doctors have confirmed that Africans have skin layers that are immune to the deadly covid-19.

    Other African platforms also published the story; platforms like CityScrollz, GHGossip, Kenyan Bulletin, Nairaland, CameroonIntelligenceReport amongst others.

    According to the post, a Cameroonian college student studying in China who contracted coronavirus quickly recovered “because of his blood genetic composition, which is mainly found in the genetic composition of Subsaharan Africans.”

    Verification

    Coronavirus, which was renamed Covid-19 recently by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a virus that infects humans; leading to an upper and sometimes lower respiratory tract infection. 

    Does it mean Africans are safe? NO

    Findings suggest otherwise. While the premise is correct, the claim is baseless; just another conclusion circulated by online blogs. Moreover, no credible news platform published it. Besides that, no health authority announced this alleged discovery.  

    Isolated Incident

    Nonetheless, it is accurate that a 21-year old Cameroonian, Kem Senou Daryl studying in China became ill and was hospitalized shortly after contacting coronavirus. He was the first African in China to contract the disease and report a full recovery.

    Reports have it that the young man who was under a 14-day quarantine in the university dormitory said:

    “No matter what happens I don’t want to take the sickness back to Africa.” 

    Initially, he suffered from a fever, dry cough and flu-like symptoms; then was in isolation for 13 days in a local Chinese hospital. The doctors in the hospital administered antibiotics and HIV retroviral medication on Daryl for two weeks, after which he began to show signs of recovery. The hospital cleared Dary after the doctors conducted a CT scan and found no traces of the illness. The Chinese state also covered his medical care.

    Possibly authentic image, still

    Dubawa also performed reverse image verification on the pictures attached to the claim. Results revealed that they did not exist before February. Yet, to reiterate what we’ve established, it is an isolated incident!

    Black or White? Don’t Matter

    There is no evidence that black people were or are less susceptible to the disease. Anyone regardless of race who comes into close contact with an infected party is at risk. 

    If indeed it is true that people from African backgrounds are more resistant to coronavirus than others, one should expect it to be a significant news story. Instead, we found the story only on a handful of online blogs, calling its trustworthiness to question.

    PesaCheck interviewed a Medical practitioner, and the Doctor in a fact-check they published said:

    Excerpt from PesaCheck

    Conclusion

    While Senou was the first African to contract the virus and recuperate from it, one cannot attribute his recovery to just genetics or a superior immune system. His healing was instead a function of medication administered, according to new reports. Although, according to Dr Kitheka, a healthy immune system does play a role in recovery.

  • Can you get HIV/AIDs from Fruit?

    Fruits sold in cut pieces are not only cheap but you also get a variety with less money. Not to mention, the importance of daily fruits intake, an important source of vitamins. All good right… but then comes this claim.

    So, should we abandon this medium of buying fruits -cut fruits from vendors? Are we vulnerable to contracting HIV?AIDS from vendors with hand injuries?

    What is HIV/AIDS?

    AIDS – Acronym for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is a disease condition resulting from an HIV -Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection. AIDS occurs when a person infected with HIV is not treated. This usually happens between 5-10 years post-infection. Diagnosis occurs 3-4 months or even 6 months after infection.

    HIV/AIDS has been around for a little over 4 decades now from when HIV was first discovered in 1981. The virus, thought to have first originated from chimpanzee monkeys, has now become one of the world’s top killer infectious diseases.

    Within a person’s body, HIV attacks the immune system (the body’s defence mechanism) giving way for other infections, termed opportunistic infections in this instance, to also infect the body.

    How Does One Get Infected With HIV

    HIV infection often occurs through contact with infected blood, semen, pre-semen, vaginal or anal fluid and breastmilk. These fluids must come in contact with a person’s mucous membranes (found within the mouth, vagina, anus, & penis). Transmission through injection is also plausible. Poor snipping of the umbilical cord during childbirth is also a risk factor.

    The general advice is to avoid unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, syringes or other sharp objects, or transfusion with unscreened infected blood.

    Same plot, different script

    During the early phase of HIV, there was a proliferation of transmission myths. This claim seems to follow the same line of false information and belief. Although acts such as kissing can predispose one to infection, the person infected has to have bruises or wounds in their mouth for transmission to occur.

    However, there has been evidence to show that HIV does not survive for a long time outside the body. This is the reason for the conclusion that HIV transmission cannot occur through saliva, sweat, tears or closed-mouth kissing. The same rationale applies to air, water, insect or pests bites; sharing toilets, utensils, food or drinks.

    How True Is This Message?

    It turns out this story has been around for a while now, as other sister fact-checking websites avert.org and Snopes show. Snopes further shows that this message which has been recirculating since at least May 2005 over the internet, has come in varied forms; the boy eating a pineapple from an infected vendor… being another example.

    “Except for rare cases in which children consumed food that was pre-chewed by an HIV-infected caregiver, HIV has not been spread through food. The virus does not live long outside the body. You cannot get it from consuming food handled by an HIV-infected person; even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus”

    US Centre for Disease Control

    This is similar to all known information provided by the WHO about HIV transmission and developing AIDS.

    Conclusion

    Foremost research and knowledge on the subject reveal that this claim is a hoax. Even so, HIV is still a global epidemic as UNAIDS tells us.
    Engaging in safe sexual practices (use of a condom), avoiding sharing sharp needles and objects, screening blood for transfusion and getting tested are the only means to remain safe.

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