Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry reminded local governments, port health offices (KKP), health service facilities, and related stakeholders to increase awareness of the spread of the Nipah virus.

Nipah virus is a bat-borne, zoonotic virus that causes a viral infection in humans and other animals. This virus could cause a disease with a high mortality rate.

Despite no Nipah cases in Indonesia, the government strongly reminds various stakeholders to be wary since an outbreak had already occurred in India that is located close to Indonesia.

"Given Indonesia's geographical location that is close to a country that reports a Nipah outbreak, there is a possibility of Nipah transmission (in Indonesia)," the ministry's Director General of Disease Prevention and Control, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, noted in a statement on Tuesday.

Hence, he stated that the KKP and health service facilities in regions must monitor the development in cases, especially in infected countries through the official channels infeksiemerging.kemkes.go.id and who.int/emergencies/disease-outbreak-news.

Rondonuwu also called on related stakeholders to always increase supervision of crew, personnel, and passengers as well as transportation equipment, luggage, the environment, and disease-carrying animals at ports, airports, and cross-border posts, particularly those originating from infected countries.

"We also increase early awareness by monitoring cases of acute fever syndrome accompanied by acute respiratory symptoms, seizures, and decreased consciousness, especially in people, who have a travel history from infected areas," he remarked.

Moreover, he noted that health facilities should monitor and report cases found in accordance with guidelines through Incident-Based Surveillance reports to the Director General of P2P Ministry of Health via the Early Awareness and Response System (SKDR) application and the Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC) via WhatsApp 0877-7759-1097.

Specimens from suspected cases should be sent to the Center for Health Biology Laboratory at the Professor Srie Oemijati Laboratory on Percetakan Negara 23 Rd, Jakarta, for examination, Rondonuwu stated.

"For reports of suspected, probable, or confirmed cases from health facilities, an investigation must be carried out within 24 hours, including close contact tracing," he emphasized.

These efforts have been stated in the Circular Letter of the Director General of Disease Prevention and Control of Health Ministry Number HK.02.02/C/4022/2023 concerning Precautions against Nipah Virus Disease.

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Translator: Sean Muhamad, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Sri Haryati
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