Can coconut juice ease dengue symptoms?
WITH medical staff advising dengue-fever sufferers to drink coconut juice to restore their health, coconut vendors are doing a roaring trade in Laos.
Tee, 33, who has a stall in Kamphengmeuang road, Vientiane, said he's now selling at least 30 coconuts a day, compared to about 15 earlier in the month.
"Some people buy two coconuts and some people buy all that I have for sale," he said, adding that people believe that potassium-rich coconut juice refreshes the body and helps replace the fluids which dengue fever can deplete.
Another seller, Silavanh, the owner of a fruit stall in Donkoy village, Sisattanak district, also said coconuts were selling fast. "I'm selling many coconuts to the relatives of people suffering from dengue; pregnant women also like to buy them," she said.
Biew, 26, a resident of Vientiane, makes his living from climbing coconut palms to cut down the ripe nuts. He said he has seen a surge in orders from fruit shops in Vientiane this year.
"I believe people need the juice...to help ease the symptoms of dengue," he said.
Doctors in Laos have been advising people to rehydrate with soup and water, in addition to coconut juice. They are also using paracetamol in their treatments.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said some 2.5 billion people - 40 per cent of the world's population - are at risk from dengue. WHO estimates that there may be 50 million dengue infections worldwide every year. VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK