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Jakarta Post

Time for plan B for hepatitis A outbreak

  • Andrio Adiwibowo

Jakarta   /   Sat, July 13 2019   /  01:22 am

Sudimoro is just a modest subdistrict in the East Java regency of Pacitan with a population only 35,488. But the area is gaining prominence for becoming the epicenter of the outbreak and reemergence of the hepatitis A virus (HAV) recently.From 24 infection cases initially reported on June 13, the number exploded to 877 within just seven days. As of July 9, or after three weeks, 1,102 people had been infected across Pacitan. Apart from in Sudimoro, three-digit incidence rates have also been seen in Arjosari, Ngadirojo, Tulakan and Tegalombo subdistricts. This massive spread has exposed significant weak spots and gaps in our public health system, particularly its surveillance, monitoring and prevention of HAV, despite the fact that this disease is not a new kid on the block. Hepatitis A is specifically related to food intake and generally poor water, sanitation and hygiene conditions. It b...