Many of the child patients, who are infected, have not been vaccinated. The news circulating that acute hepatitis is the effect of vaccination is a hoax.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Acute hepatitis in children was unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccination, according to the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI).

"Many of the child patients, who are infected, have not been vaccinated. The news circulating that acute hepatitis is the effect of vaccination is a hoax," chief of the hospital's committee for infection prevention and control, Titi Sundari, stated during a webinar on Wednesday.

In fact, the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) has affirmed that acute hepatitis is not related to COVID-19 vaccination, she remarked.

Up until now, the World Health Organization (WHO) views the disease as acute hepatitis of unknown etiology, she stated.

Although the exact cause of acute hepatitis in children is still unknown, she opined that the virus, which chiefly affects the digestive and respiratory tract, is the cause of acute hepatitis.

Related news: Government's efforts to control acute hepatitis outbreak in Indonesia

"The laboratory (test) shows that the hepatitis virus of types A, B, C, D and E is not found as the cause of acute hepatitis," she remarked.

Sundari noted that acute hepatitis was transmitted orally or through contaminated food from a hepatitis patient, among other factors.

To prevent the transmission of hepatitis, she appealed to the public to maintain cleanliness by washing hands with soap and running water.

They also need to ensure that the food consumed is well-cooked and beverages are clean and they do not use the same cutlery as a hepatitis patient. More importantly, they also need to avoid physical contact with a hepatitis patient.

Meanwhile, to avoid acute hepatitis transmission through the respiratory tract, she advised the public to implement health protocols, including wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and reducing mobility.

Related news: Acute hepatitis cases must invite concern: epidemiologist

The Ministry of Health has designated the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI), Jakarta, as a referral service facility for patients with mysterious acute hepatitis symptoms.

"The government has appointed the Sulianti Saroso Hospital and the Laboratory of the Faculty of Health, University of Indonesia (FKUI), as referrals (referral facilities) for the examination of acute hepatitis specimens because there are many aspects that need to be investigated," medical practitioner from the Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI), Hanifah Oswari, stated at a virtual press conference accessed on YouTube last Thursday.

Several experts and medical organizations worldwide, including in Indonesia, are still investigating acute hepatitis with severe symptoms, he added.

The symptoms that patients with severe acute hepatitis commonly experience include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, pale stools in 58 percent of the cases, fever in 29 percent of the cases, and elevated levels of liver enzymes of up to 500 u/L.

Related news: Adults, elderly can contract acute hepatitis: RSPI SS

Related news: Some 15 cases related to acute hepatitis yet unconfirmed: KSP

Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Suharto
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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