DENPASAR, NusaBali.com - Head of Disease Prevention and Control of the Bali Health Service I Wayan Widia emphasized the need to anticipate the arrivals of Indian tourists, symptomatic with the Nipah Virus, to Bali.
"Currently, Nipah Virus is an outbreak in India. We must anticipate tourists, with symptoms of the Nipah Virus, coming from India to Bali. We can take their blood samples and carry out an epidemiological examination (PE)," he said in Denpasar on Friday (29/9/2023).
Nipah Virus is a bat-borne, zoonotic virus that causes viral infection in humans and other animals. The virus infection has a high mortality rate.
In humans, symptoms of Nipah Virus can be seen in acute fever syndrome accompanied by acute respiratory symptoms, seizures, and decreased consciousness.
Data from the Bali Tourism Service from January to August showed that Indian tourists ranked second among the most number of foreign tourists visiting Bali, with 288,873 visits.
Due to the spread of Nipah Virus in India, the provincial government immediately urged related stakeholders to conduct prevention.
The Bali Health Service has coordinated with the port health office (KKP) to check passengers with the virus symptoms and their travel records as well.
Until now, Widia remarked that no symptoms had been found in Bali. However, his side is still conducting surveillance observations in accordance with the direction of the Health Ministry.
He advised the public to immediately visit a health facility if they experience symptoms of the Nipah Virus and also continue to adopt a clean and healthy lifestyle in addition to wearing a mask.
Moreover, tourism workers are strongly suggested to take their symptomatic guests or customers to the clinic or health service for immediate examination, he remarked.
"Each hotel has a clinic. Every tourist, who has the symptoms, can be taken into the hotel clinic," he remarked.
Furthermore, Head of the Bali Health Service I Nyoman Gede Anom remarked that apart from being transmitted from animals to humans, this virus is also spread from human to human.
"The transmission can be carried out through contact with contaminated urine, saliva, specimens, or food. Fruit bats and pigs are known to cause Nipah Virus outbreaks in Malaysia and Singapore," Anom stated.
Hence, he advised the public to avoid contact with infected animals, use personal protective equipment if forced to make contact, avoid contact with infected people, and wash their hands after visiting sick people.
Health workers must also carry out standard infection prevention and control measures while handling specimens or suspected patients, he stated.
"We are also waiting for further advice from the Ministry of Health because currently, the Nipah virus has not been detected in Indonesia," he remarked. *ant