Health Ministry Warns of Bird Flu Symptoms
8 March 2023 13:16 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Health Ministry stated that Indonesia has the world's highest human death toll from H5N1 bird flu. “So bird flu infection must also be watched out for as it is an animal infection that can infect humans,” said the ministry’s director for prevention and control of infectious diseases, Imran Pambudi.
Since the infection was discovered in 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded 871 cases related to bird flu in humans globally until 2023. Of the figure, 458 deaths have been reported.
A total of 168 deaths were recorded in Indonesia which made it the country with the highest death toll of bird flu, followed by Egypt with 120 deaths, Vietnam with 64 deaths, Cambodia with 38 deaths, and China with 32 deaths.
“All cases of exposure to infected birds come from direct contact,” said Imran.
He underlined that the virus can be transmitted via direct contact with the secretions or feces of infected animals and airborne.
Various objects contaminated with the virus can transmit it to humans where the incubation period occurs within 1-7 days with an average transmission of 3-5 days.
“At present, there are seven main variants (clades) with 38 subclades, of which 21 have been reported in humans,” Imran outlined.
Imran further explained the symptoms of bird flu infection in humans include fever over 38 degrees Celsius, weakness, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, abdominal pain, chest pain, and diarrhea.
“Most patients have a history of the sick or sudden death of poultry,” he added.
Imran said after presenting the symptoms, infected people can quickly develop severe lung disease with shortness of breath, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and neurological changes such as mental changes or seizures.
Imran thus called on all parties to comprehensively work together to maintain a healthy body and environment and exercise a healthy lifestyle to prevent virus transmission. People experiencing symptoms are also asked not to be afraid in order to prevent panic in society and immediately visit a healthcare facility.
“Although this zoonotic disease (any disease or infection that is transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans) doesn't cause death as many as COVID-19, it has a quite large impact on the economy, especially for livestock breeders,” Imran said.
Editor's Choice: Risk of Bird Flu Infection in Humans Still Low, Says Govt
Click here to get the latest news updates from Tempo on Google News