Indonesia: Death toll rises quickly as dengue fever spreads

Suherdjoko and Ni Komang Erviani, The Jakarta Post 5 Feb 16;

Dengue fever (DBD) continues to spread throughout a number of regions in Indonesia, with at least 70 people reported to have been killed by the mosquito-borne disease during the first five weeks of the year.

On Thursday, the Central Java Health Agency reported that the disease had claimed the lives of 15 local residents and hospitalized 1,080 others in January alone.

Agency head Yulianto Prabowo said his office had called on local physicians, particularly those in regions that have reported a high prevalence of DBD, including Jepara regency, and the municipalities of Semarang and Magelang, to stay alert and provide immediate treatment to those patients that they suspect may have contracted the disease.

“Unlike highland regions whose cold weather prevents mosquitoes from breeding well, lowland regions such as Semarang and Jepara are highly prone to the viral disease,” he said.

In Bali, the province’s Health Agency head I Ketut Suarjaya said that the disease had killed three people in January. At least 370 people had been hospitalized due to the disease, he said, a significant increase from the 230 cases recorded in December last year.

Ketut blames the delayed rainy season for the outbreak. “We worry that the disease outbreak has just started and that infection numbers will increase significantly within the next few months,” he said.

To help prevent the disease from spreading, he said, his office had been disseminating information about DBD to local residents. The agency will also intensify fogging in DBD-prone areas and urge locals to get involved in the government-sponsored mosquito nest eradication (PSN) campaign program.

DBD is a disease carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. After a person has been bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito it takes between four and 10 days for symptoms to manifest. The most common signs are high fever, severe headache, nausea, swollen glands and joint pain.

The disease can be deadly when a patient experiences plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding or organ impairment.

With the absence of a vaccine to protect against DBD, vector control has so far been the only method available for the prevention and control of DBD.

Earlier this week, the Tangerang regional administration in Banten reported that more than a dozen people had died as a result of DBD in the regency over the last month.

In South Sulawesi, 530 people are reported to have contracted DBD as of Thursday, eight did not survive.

South Sulawesi Health Agency’s disease control and environmental health division head Nurul Amin confirmed that the disease had spread throughout the province’s 24 regions, with Bulukumba, Pangkajene Islands, Gowa, North Luwu and Wajo, declaring extraordinary occurrence (KLB) status.

Agency head Rachmat Latief, meanwhile, is calling on local residents to see a doctor quickly if they suffer from fever.

“Many DBD patients fail to survive as they are admitted to the hospital too late,” he said.

In North Sulawesi, the province’s Health Agency head Jimmy Lampus said DBD had killed one person and hospitalized 144 local residents. Last year, the province recorded 489 DBD cases with five fatalities.

Health Ministry data shows that Indonesia recorded a total of 100,347 DBD cases last year, with 907 fatalities. Meanwhile, the highest number of recorded DBD fatalities occurred in 2007 when 1,599 people died as a result of the disease.

Andi Hajramurni in Makassar and Lita Aruperes in Manado contributed to the article

Dengue cases continue to increase in several Indonesian regions
Otniel Tamindael Antara 3 Feb 16;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Despite the government having urged people in various provinces to be wary of dengue fever, a viral disease caused by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the number of cases continue to soar in several Indonesian regions.

Dengue cases in Indonesia, a tropical country with a fast-growing population, increase from time to time, in spite of the struggle to win the battle against the disease during the rainy season this year.

Since January 2016, dengue cases were reported to have occurred in the provinces of Central Java, West Java, Bali, South Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara, and Banten, among other places.

In Gunung Kidul district, the Special Region of Yogyakarta, the number of dengue fever cases continues to rise, and the figure has now reached 71.

Gunung Kidul Health Office Chief Agus Prihastoro remarked on Tuesday that the number of dengue cases since January 2016 has increased two-fold as compared to only 24 cases recorded in December 2015.

"However, the number of cases in Gunung Kidul is less than that in other areas such as Kulon Progo and Bantul districts," Prihastoro remarked.

He expressed hope that the outbreak would soon be brought under control.

In the meantime, Central Java Health Office is focusing on reducing and preventing the number of cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever, which tends to increase during every rainy season.

"For prevention, we are trying to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds by burying, draining, and hoarding the scrap items that can retain water since fogging is now no longer able to eradicate mosquito larvae," Central Java Health Office Chief Yulianto Prabowo remarked in Semarang on Monday.

According to Prabowo, dengue fever usually peaks in January and February when the cases spread almost evenly in other areas.

Without detailing the number of dengue patients in Central Java, Prabowo stated that based on the indicators of dengue cases in the province, the average is still above 20-40 cases per 100 thousand population, whereas mortality is still above one percent of all cases of dengue.

Prabowo revealed that the current types of mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever have mutated and become resistant to insecticides used in fogging.

"Based on the results of research conducted in several areas, including in the city of Semarang, the insecticides used in fogging are no longer effective against mosquitoes, so we had to look for another type, which is more effective," he affirmed.

In West Java, a total of 285 dengue patients have been admitted to Cianjur Hospital since January, according to the hospitals spokesman, Dr Cecep Juhana.

He revealed that patients belonging to all age groups ranging from toddlers to senior citizens had reportedly contracted dengue fever in West Java and had received treatment in the hospital for three days to a week.

In Sukabumi district, West Java, two dengue patients were reported to have died since January 2016.

Dengue cases in Tabanan district, Bali province, also increased during this rainy season, according to Deputy Director of Services and Quality Control of Tabanan Hospital, Dr Ni Luh Gede Sukardiasih.

Sukardiasih remarked that during the month of January 2016, as many as 258 patients were treated for dengue fever, an increase compared to only 216 patients recorded over the same month in the previous year.

"Of the total 258 dengue patients treated at the Tabanan Hospital, 288 are adults and 30 are children," Sukardiasih noted in Tabanan on Tuesday.

In Banjarbaru city, South Kalimantan, some 107 people were reported to have suffered from dengue fever since January 2016, while 208 people had contracted the disease in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara.

In Lebak district, Banten province, nine sub-districts have been declared dengue endemic areas, due to the low level of public awareness of keeping the environment clean.

"Since January until this day, some 103 dengue patients have been admitted to Dr Adjidarmo Public Hospital in Rangkasbitung, and three of them have died of the disease," dr Firman Rahmutallah, the head of Communicable Diseases Eradication and Prevention of the Lebak District Health Office, stated on Tuesday.

Rahmutallah noted that dengue cases continued to surface in Lebak district following an increase in rainfall in the area, so the people have been reminded to remain vigilant against the outbreak of the disease.

In order to break the chain of dengue transmission, he said the local community had been called on to revive the tradition of mutual assistance by conducting an environmental cleanliness movement, such as burying, draining, and hoarding (3-M), in addition to eradicating the aedes aegypti mosquitos breeding grounds.

"We believe that through the environmental cleanliness movement and the eradication of mosquito breeding grounds, we can break the chain of the deadly disease," he noted.

Rahmutallah explained that most of the dengue patients lived in densely populated settlement areas such as Rangkasbitung, Cibadak, Maja, Warunggunung, Malingping, Banjarsari, Cipanas, and Kalanganyar.

Therefore, he has urged the local community to immediately rush the people affected by dengue fever to the nearby hospital and health centers.

"We hope that when someone has been suffering from fever for three days, he or she would be quickly rushed to a nearby hospital or community health center," Rahmutallah remarked.

He pointed out that as some areas of Lebak district still continued to experience rainfall, the cases of dengue fever had increased sharply compared to those recorded in the previous years.
(Uu.O001/INE/KR-BSR)

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