Health Ministry Warns of Acute Hepatitis Cases
Ministry of Health’s Directorate General for Disease Prevention and Control has issued Circular Number HK.02.02/C/2515/2022 on Anticipatory Measures for Cases of Acute Hepatitis of Unknown Aetiology.
The Circular was signed by Director General Maxi Rein Rondonuwu on April 27, 2022.
“The Circular aims to boost participation of regional governments, health service facilities, Port Health Authority (KKP), human resources, and stakeholders related to early warning after discovery of acute hepatitis cases with unknown aetiology,” the Circular states.
Ministry of Health ordered Provincial and Regency/City Health Offices, Port Health Authority, Public Health Laboratories, and Hospitals to monitor and report cases of acute jaundice syndrome in the Early Alert and Response System (SKDR).
The Ministry also ordered related stakeholders to inform the public to immediately visit the nearest health service facilities in the event that they experience jaundice syndrome, and build and strengthen surveillance networks with cross program and cross sector approaches.
The Ministry also ordered Health Offices, Port Health Authority, and Hospitals to immediately provide notifications/reports in the event of an increase in acute jaundice syndrome cases, or other cases in line with operational definitions, to Directorate General for Disease Prevention and Control through Public Health Emergency Operation Center (PHEOC) via telephone/WhatsApp 0877-7759-1097 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, Spokesperson for Ministry of Health Siti Nadia Tarmizi said that the Ministry has increased vigilance in the last two weeks after the World Health Organization (WHO) released statement on acute hepatitis cases with unknown aetiology in children in Europe, America and Asia on April 15, 2022.
“We strengthen the surveillance through cross program and cross sector approaches, so that the measures can be taken immediately for acute jaundice syndrome cases and other cases with hepatitis symptoms,” Nadia said as quoted by Ministry of Health’s official website, Wednesday (05/04).
For the record, three pediatric patients treated at Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital Jakarta have died with acute hepatitis symptoms in the period of two weeks.
Nadia said that Ministry of Health has been investigating the cause of acute hepatitis cases through a complete virus panel examination, while Jakarta Provincial Health Office is conducting further epidemiological investigation.
“During the investigation period, we urge the public to keep calm and stay vigilant. Take preventive measures such as washing hands, consuming clean and well-cooked food, avoiding sharing eating utensils, avoiding contact with the ill person and observing health protocols,” she said.
The WHO first received a report on April 5, 2022 from the United Kingdom regarding ten cases of acute hepatitis with unknown aetiology in children aged 11 months to 5 years in the period of January to March 2022 in Central Scotland. The number of reported cases has increased to more than 170 in more than 12 countries.
The case occurs in children aged 1 month to 16 years. Seventeen children of them (10 percent) require liver transplants and one child is reported dead. Clinical symptoms in the identified cases are acute hepatitis with increased liver enzymes, acute jaundice syndrome, and gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting). Most cases are found no symptoms of fever.
The cause of the disease is still unknown. Laboratory tests abroad have been carried out and the hepatitis type A, B, C, D and E viruses are not found as the cause of the disease. Adenovirus was detected in 74 cases overseas after molecular tests, identified as F Type 41. SARS-COV-2 was found in 20 cases, while 19 cases were declared SARS-COV-2 and Adenovirus co-infection. (PR of Ministry of Health/UN) (RI/LW)