Jakarta, IO – The reemergence of the Nipah virus (NiV) has put the world on edge. The virus has reportedly killed two residents from Kerala, South India.
Health Ministry (Kemenkes) said that to date there have been no reports of confirmed cases of Nipah disease in Indonesia, per CNBC Indonesia, Friday (22/9).
Kemenkes spokesperson Siti Nadia Tarmizi said that her agency is increasing vigilance at entry ports. Overseas travelers from countries affecfed are asked to immediately go to health facilities (faskes) especially if they experience symptoms.
“We will also increase vigilance together with the Agriculture Ministry and the Environment and Forestry Ministry to anticipate animal transmission,” said Nadia.
Nadia also appealed to the public, especially fruit farmers and pig and goat breeders, to increase awareness. She emphasized that farmers must be alert when their livestock die suddenly.
“Take precautions when handling raw meat by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning the pens with disinfectant,” he said.
For the general public, Nadia advised washing fruit thoroughly and not consume raw products that could potentially contain the Nipah virus.
According to Nadia, clinical symptoms include fever, body aches, coughing, runny nose, seizures, drowsiness, and inflammation of the brain that can lead to death.
The World Health Organization (WHO) previously stated that the virus originated from fruit bats and was transmitted to pigs during large-scale deforestation. As a result, bats have migrated and lived closer to farm areas.
Pigs that have been infected can transmit the virus to breeders and breeders can also transmit it to fellow humans. This easy transmission process is what makes the virus has pandemic potential. (un)