Indo govt urges public not to panic over anthrax infection

Indo govt urges public not to panic over anthrax infection
A 3D illustration of the lethal toxin of anthrax bacterium, Bacillus anthracis.
PHOTO: Shutterstock/Kateryna Kon

The Health Ministry has urged the public to take precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of anthrax following the death of a 9-year-old boy in Yogyakarta, suspected to have contracted Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that causes the infection.

"We urge the public to sincerely practice a healthy lifestyle, especially following the case in Yogyakarta. For example, consume only meat that is cooked properly," the ministry's spokesman Oscar Primadi told The Jakarta Post.

He added that the ministry's health research development centre was currently investigating the case to confirm whether the death of the boy was caused by an anthrax infection.

"The hospital [where the boy died] found the possibility [of an anthrax infection], but it's still preliminary. We need to confirm it," Oscar said.

The bacterial scare emerged after 16 people from Kulonprogo, Yogyakarta, were reported on Jan. 10 to be suffering from skin infections caused by anthrax.

Oscar said that the report was not true as there was only one patient who was treated at Dr. Sardjito General Hospital.

"The public doesn't have to worry because it is still safe to visit patients or receive treatment at the hospital," he said.

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