Indonesia on high alert over Enterovirus 71

July 13, 2012

INDONESIA – The country’s Health Ministry is currently operating under a heightened state of vigilance to monitor the recent development of a mysterious disease that reportedly has killed more than 50 children in Cambodia since April.

The Health Ministry’s Director General for Disease Control and Environmental Health, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, said on Monday that his ministry had been corresponding with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Cambodian Health Ministry to gather information about the disease’s symptoms, and determine whether or not the disease might spread to other countries.

“Currently, the Cambodian Health Ministry and the WHO have yet to collect all the data [needed]. Therefore, we can only refer to the disease as an undiagnosed syndrome and a neuro-respiratory syndrome,” Tjandra said as quoted by Antara news agency.

The Cambodian Health Ministry recorded that among the infected children, 59 were between 3 months and 11 years old and 52 were under the age of 5.

“Our laboratory sample is incomplete because most children died before they received treatment. Some who received treatment, however, show that they were infected by EV71,” Tjandra said.

The EV71 is a virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). It causes severe complications and death among some patients. HFMD is a common infectious disease among infants and children.

People who are infected with EV71 may have symptoms such as fever, painful sores in the mouth and a rash with blisters on the hands, feet and buttocks.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Category: Health alert

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