This is not a new disease, so what needs to be done is to ensure the diagnostics, whether it is Mycoplasma or not
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health is raising vigilance against the risk of a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in China by taking several measures.

"We can carry out vigilance at entry gates (to Indonesia) through port health offices, especially against people with flu symptoms, then we carry out (efforts to disseminate) education," the ministry's Head of Communication and Public Service Bureau, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated here on Tuesday.

Tarmizi noted that the other vigilance measure is conducting supervision against food. In addition, the ministry has in place Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) surveillance systems.

She noted that the ILI and SARI surveillance is conducted at first-level health facilities, such as community health centers (puskesmas), to monitor symptoms that are similar to influenza.

This step was taken, as the pneumonia outbreak was triggered by Mycoplasma bacteria that caused influenza-like symptoms.

She explained that people with influenza recover on their own and do not need to be hospitalized.

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"That is why we have the SARI (surveillance system) to monitor influenza cases with severe symptoms," she remarked.

She explained that in the event of such a case, the local health office will take samples for genome sequencing examination to review whether the disease is caused by the Mycoplasma bacteria or other bacteria and viruses.

In addition, the ministry is taking vigilance measures related to medicines. Tarmizi confirmed that medicines to treat the Mycoplasma bacteria are available in Indonesia.

"This is not a new disease, so what needs to be done is to ensure the diagnostics, whether it is Mycoplasma or not," she remarked.

Tarmizi stated that these measures to increase vigilance are also in accordance with recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hence, to ensure that the measures run optimally, she appealed to people to always wash their hands with running water, maintain clean and healthy lifestyles, and wear a mask if they feel unwell.

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Translator: Sean Muhamad, Raka Adji
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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