Precautionary measures increased against swine flu

Precautionary measures increased against swine flu

Illustration. A hog farm in Timor Island, East Nusa Tenggara. (ANTARA/HO)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Health Ministry increased precautionary measures against a possible swine flu threat in future after Chinese scientists recently warned that the pig influenza virus bearing genotype 4 (G4) had the potential to jump to humans.

"Our surveillance remains in place to detect any possibility," Director of Disease Prevention and Control at the Indonesian Ministry of Health Siti Nadia Tarmizi informed ANTARA in Jakarta on Thursday.

However, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture that has an authoritative area of detecting workers at the hog farming industry had yet to detect any potential spread of G4 EA H1N1 viruses in pigs and humans in Indonesia, she revealed.

"We have yet to receive any report on this matter," she noted, adding that swine flu-related viruses were in fact categorized as a "self-limiting disease".

The World Health Organization (WHO) had grouped it into an ordinary influenza whose vaccine has been available, she pointed out.

Director General of Livestock and Animal Health at the Ministry of Agriculture I Ketut Diarmita had earlier confirmed that the African Swine Fever (ASF) that had killed several hogs in Indonesia was not a swine flu.

According to ANTARA, ASF virus cases that could be traced in Indonesia in 2019 and February 2020 had killed thousands of hogs in North Sumatra and several other provinces in Indonesia, including Bali.

Apart from Indonesia, the ASF virus had also swept across countries in Asia, including China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

The outbreak has raised widespread concern among people since a vaccine has yet to be found to cure the ASF virus that has a deadly effect on pigs but will not contaminate humans.

Regarding the G4 EA H1N1 viruses, China's Global Times reported earlier that scientists from the China Agricultural University, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and other institutes recently published their study in the US science journal, PNAS.

In a published report, they revealed that the "pig influenza virus bearing genotype 4 (G4), which is contagious among pigs and has the possibility of jumping to humans, as the G4 virus, is able to bind with human cells", according to Global Times.

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