The “slow contagiousness” of acute hepatitis

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dr. Mohammad Syahril, Sp.P, MPH
dr. Mohammad Syahril, Sp.P, MPH. (Source: SULIANTI SAROSO HOSPITAL)

Jakarta, IO – When he opened the “Emerging Intense Acute Hepatitis Infection with Unknown Causes” webinar on Thursday (12/05/2022), Dean of the University of Indonesia’s (“UI”) Faculty of Medicine Prof. Dr. dr. Ari Fahrial Syam, Sp.PD-KGEH, MMB, FINASIM, declared that based on observation of existing cases worldwide, acute hepatitis with unknown etiology has a slower rate of contagiousness than Covid-19. “We note how its development worldwide tends to be ‘slower’, so to speak. This is different from Covid-19’s development, which had extreme progress because its potential contagion is locally transmitted – which means that positive carriers can very easily infect others,” he said. 

The acute hepatitis virus is unlikely to get transmitted directly from one person to another, as is the case with Covid-19. “However, this does not mean that we should treat this disease lightly. With its severe symptoms, it is very easy for patients’ to lose their lives. If we are slow to mitigate it, the disease might well turn into an outbreak. Therefore, we request all experts and researchers to move fast to study this disease and find correct, efficient mitigation methods.” 

At the same event, UI Faculty of Medicine Department of Microbiology/Cancerous Virology and Pathobiology Research Center researcher Dr. dr. Budiman Bela, Sp.MK, reported that studies show that the new acute hepatitis is transmitted orally. “However, we also found indications that it might conceivably enter through the respiratory system as well. Therefore, we need to maintain our vigilance, by adhering to the mask-distancing-handwashing regime, and by closely watching what we eat and drink,” he said.