Jumat 20 Oct 2023 06:12 WIB

Local Transmission of Monkeypox Found in Jakarta

One recent case of monkey pox was reported by Jakarta residents on October 14.

Rep: Dadang Kurnia/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
A doctor shows a wound on a patient's hand caused by monkey pox at the Arzobispo Loayza hospital in Lima, Peru. Cases of monkey pox have also been found in Indonesia.
Foto: AP Photo/Martin Mejia
A doctor shows a wound on a patient's hand caused by monkey pox at the Arzobispo Loayza hospital in Lima, Peru. Cases of monkey pox have also been found in Indonesia.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Ministry of Health (Ministry of Health) of Indonesia confirmed the findings of two cases of monkeypox or mpox in Indonesia. One last case was reported on October 14, 2023 which was a resident of DKI Jakarta.

Head of the Surveillance, Epidemiology and Immunization Section of Dinkes DKI Jakarta Ngabila Salama said that the 30-year-old male patient in Jakarta is currently still in the process of being treated in an isolation room in one of the hospitals in Jakarta since his case was discovered on Saturday (14/10/2023). According to him, the patient needs about three weeks to recover.“It takes 2-4 weeks, an average of 3 weeks to heal. The definition of healing is if all wounds are completely dry and new skin appears,” Ngabila said in Jakarta, Thursday (19/10/2023).

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Ngabila, who is also the Technical Staff of Communication of Health Transformation of the Ministry of Health, said that typical symptoms of mpox were also found in patients, namely enlarged lymph nodes in the thigh fold. “Patients complain of fever, water content bouncy, and scabs in some parts of the body starting in the pubis and spreading throughout the body,” he said.

Ngabila appealed to the public not to panic about the case of mpox. However, it is necessary to be vigilant by doing some way to prevent illness and prevent death.

Mpox can be prevented by maintaining personal hygiene by diligently wearing masks and washing hands using running water and soap, especially if you are sick and meet sick people. In addition, Ngabila said, avoid physical contact with people who are sick with fever, symptoms of redness, acne, sores, water content on their skin.

“Have safe, clean, healthy sexual intercourse using a condom. Do not have sexual intercourse if the partner is sick let alone there is a wound to the pubic area or is having another sexually transmitted infection,” he said.

In addition, the public is also urged to avoid contact with the face, mouth, skin, and everyday items that the patient wears such as bath tools, sleeping aids, and others. The mpox vaccination already exists in Indonesia in limited quantities and is intended for high-risk groups, Ngabila added.

With the findings of the new case, there are currently two cases of monkey pox in Indonesia after the first one was discovered on August 20, 2022. In general, the number of confirmed cases of monkey pox worldwide reached 90,618 cases with the death toll reaching 517 cases from 115 countries.

The United States was the country that reported the most cases, while in Asia the most cases were dominated by China, Thailand, and Japan. 

The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) says a person who has multiple sexual partners may be at high risk of being infected with monkeypox.

“It can be through direct contact, such as kissing, sexual intercourse, especially with multiple partners or with unfamiliar partners,” said Head of BRIN Preclinical and Clinical Medicine Research Center Harimat Hendarwan when contacted in Jakarta, Wednesday (18/10/2023).

He explained that the monkeypox virus can infect not only through animals, but can also be transmitted through direct physical contact or sexual contact with someone who is already infected.

He explained that the rare zoonotic disease can enter the body through injured skin or the surface of the inner skin layer (mucosa), mouth, and pharynx. In addition, he said, the virus can enter through the genitals as well as the anus.

In addition to physical and sexual contact with sufferers, he said, monkeypox can be transmitted through contaminated objects as well as animals, such as monkeys, squirrels, and mice infected with the virus.

“Physical contact as well as through objects that have been touched by the sufferer then touched by others or it can also be from animals to humans, it can be from monkeys, squirrels, mice that contain monkeypox virus,” he said.

He explains efforts to mitigate the disease so that it does not spread widely, including adopting healthy lifestyles, such as diligent hand washing, avoiding contact with sufferers, and having safe sex. 

Chairman of PB Ikatan Dokter Indonesia (IDI) Moh Adib Khumaidi gave a number of recommendations regarding the findings of the case. First, it should be ascertained whether the patient was actually exposed to monkeypox or not. “This is related to epidemiological surveillance. At the time we talk there is a casusz the first thing to do is whether it is confirmed that it is monkeypox,” Adib said in Surabaya, Thursday (19/10/2023).

When it has been confirmed that the patient has actually been exposed to monkeypox, the next step is to perform tracing. Searches are meant to find out where you have traveled from and communicate with anyone.

“It's not just monkeypox, whatever it is actually includes our teaching on Covid-19 as well. So increased epidemiological surveillance becomes very important,” he said.

Such measures, Adib continued, become essential to decide whether the person concerned needs to undergo isolation to avoid its spread or not. Furthermore, it is also important to ascertain whether the person concerned is given enough medication alone, or needs other measures. “After that, further strengthening of surveillance in the area,” Adib said.


Tropical and infectious disease consultant internist Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo (RSCM) Robert Sinto said the monkeypox vaccine available in Indonesia is prioritized for vulnerable groups. “The government is preparing a priority group that will get access to the monkeypox vaccine,” Robert said in an online conversation with the DKI Health Department in Jakarta.

He said drawing up the priority scale was to ensure the limited number of vaccines could be used optimally for communities in need. Moreover, access to the monkeypox vaccine to the public today is not opened as freely as the Covid-19 vaccine, which during the last pandemic was indeed given to all sections of society without a priority scale.

Robert explains the consideration of not opening up full access to monkeypox vaccine is because there are still many ways people can do to prevent contracting monkeypox other than through vaccine administration. “We can also prevent contracting without being given a vaccine, many steps can be taken,” Robert said.

One of the preventive measures that can be taken among these is to get used to a clean and healthy life and avoid close contact and sexual contact with people with monkeypox. “That's what we should be running with or without the administration of vaccines that the government has prepared for us,” he said.

Earlier, the Ministry of Health reported that it had found one new case of monkey pox in DKI Jakarta on October 14, 2023. The patient was confirmed to have been exposed to monkeypox after undergoing a series of tests and is referred to as a resident of DKI Jakarta.

Patients also reportedly had no history of traveling abroad or out of town. With the findings of the new case, there are currently two cases of monkey pox in Indonesia after the first case was discovered on August 20, 2022.

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