Health Ministry ups vigilance against mysterious hepatitis in children

Health Ministry ups vigilance against mysterious hepatitis in children

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Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Ministry of Health has increased vigilance against a mysterious form of acute hepatitis that is affecting children in several countries.

“In the past two weeks, we have increased our vigilance in Indonesia because the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared acute hepatitis as an extraordinary event,” spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Siti Nadia Tarmizi, confirmed here on Tuesday.

She noted that reports of the disease have come from countries in Europe, America, and Asia, and no cause has been determined as of April 15, 2022.

Vigilance in Indonesia has been increased on account of the deaths of three children undergoing treatment for suspected acute hepatitis at the Dr. Ciptomangunkusuma Hospital, Jakarta, Tarmizi said. They died at different times in the two weeks till April 30, she informed.

“These three patients were referred from hospitals in East Jakarta and West Jakarta,” she added.

The three patients showed symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhea, fever, jaundice, seizures, and decreased consciousness, she said.

Currently, the Ministry of Health is investigating the causes of acute hepatitis through a complete virus panel examination. The Jakarta Provincial Health Office is also conducting further epidemiological investigations.

Related news: Govt continuing efforts to check early hepatitis transmission

“During the investigation period, we urge the public to remain calm and careful. Take preventive measures such as washing hands, ensuring food is cooked and clean, not sharing eating utensils, avoiding contact with sick people, and continuing to implement the health protocols,” Tarmizi said.

She advised parents to take children to the nearest health facility if they experience symptoms such as jaundice, abdominal pain, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, tea-colored urine, pale stools, seizures, and decreased consciousness.

The spokesperson informed that the ministry, through the Director General of Disease Prevention and Control, has issued Circular Letter Number HK.02.02/C/2515/2022 Concerning Precautions for the Finding of Cases of Acute Hepatitis of Unknown Etiology, dated April 27. 

Related news: Some 170 cases of acute hepatitis found globally: IDI




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