Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Jakarta Health Service has expedited intervention steps by strengthening early vigilance to anticipate the transmission of acute hepatitis of unknown cause in the city.

"There is no need to worry. By God's will, we will accelerate the intervention and localize any reported case," Head of the Jakarta Health Service, Widyastuti, stated on Monday.

Widyastuti remarked that her side had monitored 17 infectious diseases, including hepatitis, since 2022 that were reported from every hospital or health facility.

"We will investigate any infectious diseases that were reported to us as our strengthening step," she emphasized.

For the second step, Widyastuti said her side will coordinate with the Health Ministry and professional organization to compile guidelines for on-field medical officers handling this acute hepatitis of unknown cause.

Her side had also disseminated information on early warning to the heads of hospitals and health centers in Jakarta, including temporary standards to handle the disease.

Although the three cases of deaths are suspected to be caused by acute hepatitis in children, Widyastuti has not been able to conclude on the pattern of the disease.

However, her side is studying the clinical criteria and the epidemiology of acute hepatitis.

On the other hand, she urged the public to not panic regarding the emergence of acute hepatitis cases. The people are urged to follow clean and healthy living behavior (PHBS) to prevent the disease.

"There is no need to be panic. Remember to always implement PHBS. Wash your hands in running water with soap before and after every activity," she emphasized.

Widyawati also appealed to the public to maintain a clean environment to avoid potential diseases.

Earlier, three pediatric patients treated at the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta, with suspected acute hepatitis, died at different times in the last two weeks until April 30, 2022.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated that the three patients were referrals from hospitals in East Jakarta and West Jakarta.

The symptoms found in these patients were nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhea, fever, jaundice, seizures, and decreased consciousness.

Currently, the Ministry of Health is investigating the causes of acute hepatitis through a complete viral panel examination.

Tarmizi reminded the parents that if their children exhibit symptoms of jaundice, abdominal pain, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, brown-colored urine, pale stools, seizures, and decreased consciousness then they should immediately bring them to the nearest health facility.

Since acute hepatitis was categorized as an extraordinary event (KLB) by the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of reports has continued to grow, with over 170 cases reported by more than 12 countries.

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Translator: Dewa Ketut S W, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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