Recently, the world has been dealing with the Zika virus problem in South America. The virus reportedly may cause microcephaly in the foetus if it infects pregnant mothers.
The Zika virus was found in Indonesia in 2015. The Eijkman molecular lab first found the virus in Jambi. Of 103 blood samples of patients, one was positive with the Zika virus.
Head of Microbiology Department, Faculty of Medicine UGM, dr. Tri Wibawa, Ph.D., Sp. Mk., said the people should not worry over the spread of the virus as the virus that hit in South America is not yet clearly identified in Indonesia.
“We need to assess first if the Zica virus in Indonesia is the same with that in South America. We also need to confirm whether microcephaly in Colombia is really caused by the Zica virus,” he said on Tuesday (2/2) at the Microbiology Department UGM.
According to dr. Wibawa, Zika virus in Indonesia might be different from the South American one. Hence, Indonesian people should not worry over the virus. The clinical manifestation due to the virus is not as severe as that of dengue fever that can be fatal.
“Previous reports proved that the atack of this virus was not fatal. The symptoms are fever, headache, painful joints, sometimes with rash and eye inflammation. Currently, what is more dangerous in Indonesia is the dengue fever,” he said.
Even so, Tri Wibawa called for people to keep on the alert against this disease as Indonesia has the possibility to be hit by the virus.
“The Zika virus is carried by Aides aegypti mosquitoes that are plenty in tropical countries, including Indonesia, hence our alertness,” he said.
People are further asked to keep a healthy environment, including the move to eradicate mosquito nests.
“Avoid the vector, i.e. Aides aegypti mosquito, so it will not multiply that may disadvantage the society. Preventive measures against Zika virus can be done such as those already in place for the case of the dengue fever,” he said.