World

Crab soup as a remedy for dengue?

Dengue is a problem both in Singapore and across the Causeway.

The number of cases here rose sharply at the end of last year. A total of 549 cases were reported between Jan 3 and Jan 9 – 91 cases more than the previous week.

There has also been a dengue outbreak in Kuala Terengganu, the capital of Malaysia's Terengganu State​.

And some Malaysians who have fallen ill have apparently been drinking crab soup as a remedy.

According to restaurant owner Siti Mastura Ali, her Nipah crab soup has seen a spike in popularity following the dengue outbreak.

She said the dish wasn’t intended to be a folk remedy, but that her customers found they recovered faster after trying the soup.

"I started noticing customers ordering the soup for takeaways.

"And then I found out they were taking it to their family members hospitalised in the (nearby) Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah," she said.

The demand for what is now nicknamed "Dengue Soup" has doubled, to the point where the restaurant sometimes cannot cook enough of it.

"Nipah crabs are hard to get, and they need to be wild-caught and bought fresh daily.

"If you freeze them, they rot quickly," she told The Star at her Aqua 8 Seafood Restaurant in Kampung Panji Alam, one of the dengue hotspots in Malaysia.

According to the state health department, Panji Alam is one of the worst-hit dengue outbreak areas, with two of the three deaths in the state coming from the village.

Asked about the effectiveness of alternative medicine, state health department director, Dr Mohammad Omar, called it a form of supplements, but not a substitute to getting proper treatment.

“Yes, there have been studies that suggest things like papaya leaves can help but it’s a minor thing. If you’re sick, just go to hospital," he advised.

Source: The Star

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