Indonesia: Severe dengue spreads across regions, claims lives

Agus Maryono, Kusumasari Ayuningtyas, and Lita Aruperes, The Jakarta Post 25 Feb 16;

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) continues to spread, claiming lives in a number of regions across the country.

In Banyumas regency, Central Java, the disease killed at least nine people during February and 72 others are reported to have received hospital treatment in the last week.

The latest victim was Faiz Fairus Aziz, 11, a fifth grade student at SDN 4 Rawalo in Rawalo district, who died on Monday.

Faiz’ mother Mainah, 32, said her son had presented with a fever four days prior to his death and was taken promptly to a clinic in her subdistrict, Rawalo.

“My son was treated by the doctor who owns the clinic. I didn’t know he had contracted the disease,” Mainah said.

The Banyumas regency administration recently declared an extraordinary occurrence status for the disease. Mosquito eradication efforts such as fogging have also been conducted in endemic areas and mass mosquito nest eradication measures have been carried out across 331 subdistricts in 27 districts.

In Klaten, Central Java, a 2-year-old toddler from Jogonalan died on Sunday due to the disease. He is the third victim recorded to have died from the disease in the area this year.

To date, the Klaten Health Agency has recorded 145 cases of dengue with two DHF fatalities.

“We have to remain cautious until April this year,” the agency’s disease prevention and control (P2P) division head Herry Martanta told The Jakarta Post, Wednesday, adding that dengue was endemic from the beginning of the rainy season until the beginning of the dry season.

While North Sulawesi have recorded two DHF deaths since January, according to Hendrik Tairas, an official from the North Sulawesi health agency, the number of dengue cases had decreased significantly in the region, with 122 cases throughout January and February compared to 418 cases reported during the same period last year.

“Declaring an extraordinary situation is not only based on the number of infections, we have to consider many aspects. We do not feel that current situation here requires an extraordinary status,” he said.

In Surakarta, Central Java, the number of dengue cases has been on the rise. As of the third week this month, there has been one reported death and 46 people have received hospital treatment. The city treated 14 patients last month.

According to the head of Surakarta Health Agency’s disease prevention and environmental health division, Efy S. Pertiwi, the spread of the disease was likely to increase, with peak infections expected to occur in May. She said the rise had begun at the end of January.

“From the first to the third weeks of January we only had eight cases. From the fourth week of January to the third week of February, however, 46 people had received hospital treatment,” she said on Wednesday, adding that, of the patients, 39 had been children of between 2 and 12 years old.

Health Ministry data shows that Indonesia recorded a total of 100,347 dengue cases last year, with 907 DHF fatalities.

The highest number of recorded fatalities occurred in 2007 when 1,599 people died as a result of the disease.

Ganug Nugroho Adi also contributed to the story from Surakarta

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