Eight regions in Indonesia have now declared a dengue emergency, as the Health Ministry recorded a sudden spike in dengue fever cases in the last four weeks, with the death toll rising to 132 by January 29.
Peak dengue transmission typically occurs during the rainy season, when the dengue-bearing Aedes aegypti mosquito is most active.
The ministry’s data shows a total of 13,683 reported dengue fever cases from January 1 to 29, with the highest number of dengue-related deaths recorded in East Java (47 deaths), followed by East Nusa Tenggara (14) and North Sulawesi (13).
“The number of cases could still rise,” the ministry’s director for vector-borne and zoonotic diseases, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “But hopefully, the increase will not be significant.”
The eight regions that have declared a dengue emergency are North Minahasa, Minahasa and Tomohon regencies, as well as Manado and Kotamobagu cities in North Sulawesi; Kupang city and West Manggarai regency in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT); and Kapuas regency in Central Kalimantan.
This was double the figure on January 25, when only four regions had declared a dengue emergency.
Dengue emergency measures focus on intensifying vector control, including fogging and the use of larvicide.
Controlling the adult and larval population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito was pivotal to preventing transmission of the dengue virus. Siti encouraged communities to stay alert and to use larvicides and the “drain, cover, bury” method to eliminate standing water that was essential to the mosquito’s life cycle.
The total number of dengue-related deaths this January is relatively high compared to 43 deaths among 6,167 cases in January 2018 and 87 deaths among 12,675 cases in January 2017. However, the country has seen an overall decline in dengue cases and related deaths in the past three years since January 2016, which saw 338 deaths among 29,672 dengue cases.
Source: Jakarta Post
Photo: World Health Organisation