APSN Banner

Eid al-Fitr: Epidemiologist warns of hike in Singapore flu infection

Tempo - April 6, 2024

Alif Ilham Fajriadi, Jakarta – The incidence of Singapore flu in Indonesia, as of March 2024, stands at a staggering 5,461 cases, according to the Health Ministry. The figure could potentially escalate with the Eid al-Fitr holidays, given the high intensity of gatherings.

"The Singapore flu and COVID-19 share similar characteristics in that they spread easily and infect the respiratory tract," epidemiologist from Griffith University Australia, Dicky Budiman, told Tempo on Thursday, April 4.

Dicky explained that Singapore flu, also known as Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) infection or Enteroviral Vesicular Stomatitis, is an endemic disease in Asia, especially in the ASEAN region and parts of Africa and America.

"This means that the Singapore flu will persist as an epidemic event every year, including in Indonesia," he added.

He reiterated that the disease is almost akin to influenza, capable of attacking and infecting the respiratory tract. However, its impact is not as severe as COVID-19, with a lower mortality rate.

Therefore, Dicky emphasized that immunity and poor hygiene are the determinants of the Singapore flu's development and spread "Let alone, the Indonesian people's high mobility habit exacerbates this virus transmission."

The epidemiologist asserted that the 1.1 percent mortality rate among children needs to be closely monitored because the number of children in Indonesia is greater and is even equivalent to the entire population of Singapore.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1853863/eid-al-fitr-epidemiologist-warns-of-hike-in-singapore-flu-infectio