The Health Ministry's director for vector-borne and zoonotic diseases, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated on Sunday, June 21, that there had been a worrying rise in dengue hemorrhagic fever cases in Indonesia in recent months. Whilst Tarmizi reported that the 64,251 cases recorded between January and Wednesday, June 17, were down from 98,000 in the same period last year, a climb in cases has continued after the peak months for dengue of March and April had passed. Several hundred cases have been reported most days in June. Whilst this year's weather patterns, with the transition from the dry season to the monsoon season occurring in May as opposed to March, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is also believed to be a factor. Monitoring larval mosquitoes has been hindered by the restrictions in place due to the pandemic and in Bali, one of the worst-affected areas, usual monthly clean-up operations have not been taking place. Additionally, unattended water sources in hotels and resorts have provided mosquitoes with breeding grounds.
Further spread of dengue fever is expected over the near term.
Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rashes. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, the enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging.
Individuals in Indonesia are advised to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites - for example, by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito netting or in an air-conditioned room - and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (e.g. small pockets of freshwater, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flowerpots, clogged gutters, etc.).
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