Jakarta, IO – Last week a mysterious pneumonia of unknown origin was discovered in Argentina. The disease, according to the Argentine Health Minister Carla Vizzotti was named Legionnaires or Legionella, with symptoms including fever, body aches and breathing difficulty.
“There are seven cases, four people are still being treated in hospital, three are receiving respiratory support, and three being treated at home due to less severe clinical symptoms,” Carla said as reported by BBC Indonesia, Monday (5/9).
In response, the Indonesian Health Ministry has classified Legionella pneumonia as New Emerging Diseases (New-EIDs) which calls for caution as it can potentially trigger extraordinary occurrence (KLB).
“Indonesia has had the first cases of Legionella in Bali in 1996 and Tangerang in 1999, as well as other cities,” said the Disease Prevention and Control Director General Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, as reported by Antara.
Maxi said Legionella was classified as New-EIDs based on Health Minister Decree 1538/Menkes/SK/XI/2003 signed by the then Health Minister Achmad Sujudi.
“Legionella is an acute bacterial infection that can threaten public health and can cause outbreaks, so it needs to be anticipated and prevented from early on,” he said. Altogether, only 20 species are known and the cause is a bacteria known as Legionella pneumophila.