TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The coronavirus epidemic has caused concerns among Indonesians. The virus that originated in China's Wuhan City has spread to numerous countries, infecting more than 20,000 people and killing 630 since December last year.
There are many who believe that the novel coronavirus can activate cancer cells if an individual is infected for an extended period of time. A pulmonologist at Persahabatan Hospital, dr. Erlina Burhan quashed the fear and asserted that there is no such risk.
"There’s no link to cancer. Absolutely not. It’s different," she said when met after a media briefing in Jakarta, Thursday, February 6.
Speaking about the complications and diseases that coronavirus patients may experience, Erlina said that the most immediate impact would be a respiratory infection, as the coronavirus first attacks the lungs.
In some minor cases, the coronavirus will only cause a mild respiratory infection or flu. "If it has caused a severe respiratory infection, it can lead to severe pneumonia," she said.
If the virus is not immediately and properly treated by medical experts, Erlina said, it can damage other organs, especially if the individual has poor immunity. "It can reach the kidney, and almost all organs would be damaged if the toxin has spread," she remarked.
Sarah Ervina Dara Siyahailatua | Dio Suhenda (Intern Translator)