Recently residents of Depok City, West Java, were concerned with Singapore flu disease outbreak which had stricken people in Jakarta and surrounding areas last year. The latest data from the local Health Department mentioned there are at least 26 people, both adults and children, in the area being positively infected by the virus of the flu.
Lung Internal Medicine Specialist of Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Sumardi, SpPD, KP., said that the Singapore flu is not a dangerous disease. However, he asked the public to remain vigilant against the disease that is caused by coxsacie A16 (CA 16) and EV71 virus, especially if occuring in infants.
"People should not panic this time, because it is not deadly. However, do not underestimate this flu, especially for those with low immunity, such as children and especially children who suffer from asthma, heart problems and lung cancer," he said at Dr. Sardjito Hospital, Friday (10/2).
Sumardi said that if infected, people will typically experience lower resistance. In children with asthma, lung disorders and heart disease while their stamina is not good, those will aggravate the disease. "Actually, this virus will not cause death, unless the patient has other illnesses such as asthma, heart, lung or kidney disease. If not anticipated, combined with poor stamina, it will make the illness more severe and even cause death," he explained.
Singapore Flu in medical science is known as Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). The initial symptoms of the flu-like disease in general are fever, sore throat, runny nose, but accompanied by the appearance of red rash of fluid-filled on the palms, feet and mouth. Singapore Flu has an incubation period of about 2-4 days "This disease is common in children and infants, and rarely affects adults with better immunity. In adults it usually causes only sprue," the man who also serves at the SMF Lung Sub-section in Dr. Sardjito Hospital said.
Sumardi said that no specific drug is used for this Singapore flu. Usually the doctor will give multivitamins to boost the immune system as commonly given to patients with influenza, febrifuge to overcome fever, and ointment for nodules on skin. "Actually, there is no specific treatment for this disease. Patients will heal by themselves if their stamina is improving," he said.
Singapore Flu is contagious and occurs through direct contact when talking, coughing, and sneezing. To prevent transmission of the disease, Sumardi suggested that the patient does not have direct contact with other people, especially in children who are vulnerable to diseases. If you want to do activity, you are advised to wear a mask to minimize disease transmission. Meanwhile, we also maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating nutritious foods to improve endurance.
"Vaccination is unlikely to be effective because of the volatile nature of the flu virus which mutates very rapidly. Therefore, if you want to be given the vaccine, it will be difficult and it can only last for 1-2 years, after that you should have another vaccine. It is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain the immune system," he concluded.