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By: Vanessa Almeda | Published Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Dr. Dale Pasco, a Cebuano surgeon and natural medicine advocate, explains the effects of steam inhalation, a form of hydrotherapy, during Gov. Gwen Garcia’s virtual presser on June 22. (Lito Tecson)

The first five days of getting infected from the dreaded Covid-19 virus is the most critical stage in the fight against the infection.

This was the assertion of Dr. Dale Pasco, a Cebuano surgeon and an advocate of natural medicine, during the Ang Probinsyana program of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia where he talked of the positive effects of steam inhalation in treating symptoms of Covid-19.

“Sa steam inhalation ato nang pakgangun ang virus diri pa sa ilong og sa baba kay ig-sud sa virus sa atong ilong og baba we still have four to five days nga mu-fight ana. Steam inhalation plays a very important, vital role ana nga phase. Dili na nato paabton nga maka-abot sa lungs,” Pasco said.

He started to study the effects of steam inhalation, a form of hydrotherapy, several years ago. 

He said he discovered that hydrotherapy started in the United States in 1860 when another physician, Dr. Harvey Kellog set up his own hydrotherapy institution Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan primarily for the use of water as treatment.

His interest was drawn further on steam inhalation when in April, his sister was infected with Covid-19 and suggested to do steam inhalation after she experienced difficulty in breathing and was about to be intubated.

Pasco said he was so happy upon learning of his sister’s recovery. 

“Ang steam inhalation maka-promote sa atong immune system pagdaghan sa atong white blood cells which is happening sa mga nagtuob ngano sila maalibyo ilang simtoma,” he explained.

According to Pasco, the first thing that the virus will attack is the body’s immune system which it will kill resulting in body malaise and shortness of breath leading to pneumonia. 

Some doctors and netizens have already expressed opposition to “tuob” or steam inhalation while others are angry saying this can cause burns. 

But Pasco said a study by the US Homeland Security have shown that a 98 degrees Fahrenheit or 26.6 or 27 degrees Centigrade heat will kill the virus. He has already studied 54 Covid-19 patients in the US and in the Philippines, who have recovered after doing regular steam inhalation.

“Daghan man ang mo disagree pero I stand with my (self) kay findings man ni sa Homeland Security sa US,” Pasco said.

“There are two characters nga mamatay ang virus, first is a temperature of 27 degrees and humidity of more than 40 percent,” he asserted adding this was true to patients who recovered from the symptoms after steam inhalation.

Garcia agreed saying this explains the higher cases in cold countries compared to the Philippines. 

Both Pasco and the governor agreed that Cebu’s mortality is lower primarily because of the hot weather condition in the country. 

“The steam, iya limpyohan ang imong air ways, patyon ang imong virus kay ang coronavirus naa siya fatty layer nga mahilis sa init tubig ug sa high humidity,” Pasco explained.

Amidst the criticisms, the governor said she is aware of her responsibility to the 3.2 million Cebuanos and her promotion of “tuob” is a way of offering solution that has “common sense” and will help the people who cannot afford the rising cost of hospitalization due to Covid-19.

“Unsa may akong matabang? Something that is common sense ba. Common sense in the fact nga di man nato ma deny nga mapatay man nang virus. The virus does not survive in temperatures higher than 27 degrees or at 27 degrees. Ig-inhale nimo init man na. Wa man sad ta nag-ingon nga higopon nimo na kay naa rabay moingon hay mangasunog mo,” Garcia said.

To answer allegations that Garcia promoted “tuob” as the cure for Covid-19, Pasco clarified that steam inhalation is not a cure for the coronavirus disease.

“Sa pagkakaron, wala pa man gyud tambal sa Covid, so we accept that. Pero ikaw nga asymptomatic magpaabot paka sa tambal, basig di naka kaabot. Naay alternative nga tuob steam inhalation, pag tuob nila nawala ang ilang simtoma. Tambal, dili? Kamoy maghukom. Kamoy mo judge,” he said.

For mild symptoms, a person can do steam inhalation from 6-10 minutes thrice a day as a preventive measure while for graver symptoms, one can do steam inhalation for 15 minutes at least three times a day for therapeutic benefits.

Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo, who also joined the virtual presser, did a demonstration on proper steam inhalation and steam bath.

Guardo, an advocate of natural healing, said he is advocating “tuob” as alternative and preventive measure in the fight against Covid-19. 

He launched a “tuob challenge” in his Facebook account to create public awareness on the traditional steam inhalation saying this is the “safest and cost-efficient way” to fight Covid-19. (Vanessa L. Almeda)