Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Jakarta Provincial Health Service has informed that bird flu in humans can quickly develop into severe lung disease.

"This disease can develop rapidly in humans, causing pneumonia to the occurrence of acute respiratory disease," Head of Disease Prevention and Control at the Jakarta Provincial Health Service Dwi Oktavia said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Bird flu can also cause neurological changes such as seizures, which can lead to death, she added.

Bird flu is an infectious disease caused by the type A influenza virus subtype, H5N1, which is zoonotic or can be transmitted from animals to humans, Oktavia explained.

"Most of the cases are found in poultry. One thing that we need to be aware of from past experience is how these birds live very close to humans," she said.

The H5N1 virus itself is classified as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) that can cause serious illness, she added.

In humans, the symptoms of H5N1 infection can include a fever of over 38 degrees Celsius, weakness, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, abdominal pain, chest pain, and diarrhea.

"In general, it is similar to other influenza viruses and COVID-19. But the difference is contact with the sick (birds) or sudden death of birds," she said.

Reflecting on bird flu cases from 2005 to 2011 in Jakarta, Oktavia noted that the time interval between the initial symptoms and the patient's death was mostly between seven to nine days.

"The time frame is quite short from diagnosis to death. This is also possible when the patient was diagnosed, his condition was bad enough," she explained.

She asked the public not to panic over widespread news about bird flu, but remain vigilant. People must practice Clean and Healthy Living Behavior (PHBS), maintain environmental cleanliness, ensure their food is cooked perfectly, and clean poultry cages with disinfectant at least once a week.

"If there is a sudden and large number of poultry deaths, report it to the village head or sub-district head and representatives of the Food Security, Maritime Affairs and Agriculture (KPKP) Service," she said.

In addition, people should immediately go to a health facility if they experience fever and acute respiratory infection (ARI) following close contact with a sick bird or one that died suddenly, she added.

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Translator: Suci Nurhaliza, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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