Friday, 18 October 2019 | 05:31 WIB

Beware of Rabies Spreading across 25 Provinces in Indonesia

Director of Prevention and Control of Vector and Zoonotic Diseases at the Ministry of Health Elizabeth Jane Soepardi

JAKARTA, NNC - Director of Prevention and Control of Vector and Zoonotic Diseases at the Ministry of Health Elizabeth Jane Soepardi explained rabies is spread across 25 provinces in Indonesia.

The provinces with the highest rabies cases in Indonesia in 2017 were South Sulawesi, which killed 22 people, West Kalimantan with 22 deaths, North Sulawesi with 15 deaths, North Sumatra with 11 deaths and East Nusa Tenggara with 10 people died.

Of the 34 provinces in Indonesia, there are only nine provinces in Indonesia that are currently free of rabies. Those nine provinces are Riau Islands, Bangka Belitung, Jakarta, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, Papua and West Papua.

"During the period of 2011-2017, there were more than 500,000 cases of Animal Rabies Transmission (GHPR) reported in Indonesia. As many as 836 cases were reported as rabies in humans," said Jane, recently in Jakarta.

On average per year, GHPR cases amount to 76,000 cases, while rabies deaths in humans are as many as 100 people per year.

For information, rabies or what is locally known as mad dog disease is an infectious animal disease that can attack humans and is caused by a virus from the genus Lyssavirus. Lyssavirus itself comes from the Greek language, Lyssa which means to rampage or anger.

Rabies is a zoonotic disease, a disease that can attack animals and humans. Rabies is acute and attacks the central nervous system, warm-blooded animals and humans. If humans have open wounds and are bitten by crazy dogs, the rabies virus will enter the blood and target the nerves. Through nerves, the rabies virus can enter and travel towards the brain.

"If bitten near the brain, [the impact is] fast. If bitten near the head, [one] can die," said Jane.

Clinical symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, weakness, insomnia and severe headaches. Then it develops into being restless, hallucinating, fear of water, fear of the wind and fear of sound. Symptoms appear on average 2-3 months after the bite.

"If there are symptoms and signs of rabies there will be death. The incubation period in humans is between two weeks and two years," Jane said.