Health Authorities Reissue Dengue Warning

DENPASAR

Health authorities are warning that Denpasar remains under threat from dengue haemorrhagic fever, the frequently fatal form of the mosquito-borne disease.

They say that while the official rainy season had ended, that did not mean dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were no longer a threat. Three children have died of the disease in Denpasar this month.

Sanglah Hospital, the chief treatment centre for serious cases, remains busy with dengue patients.

This season’s dengue outbreak in Bali is the worst in years. Dengue mosquitoes, which generally bite during the day, breed in any still water, even small puddles and around houses where stagnant water is left unattended. They thrive in badly serviced and dirty urban environments.

Health authorities say the outbreak this year is worse than usual because extended rains have left a lot of standing water around Denpasar. They have warned residents to make sure their houses and gardens are clean and free of water suitable for mosquito breeding.

They have also reminded people that dengue symptoms can be confusing, since a characteristic of the disease is high fever followed by an apparent return to normal temperature, or sub-normal temperature. But this is when dengue is most dangerous because it can induce shock and may indicate the onset of haemorrhagic fever.

Children are especially susceptible. Sanglah paediatrician Dr Made Dwi Lingga said parents should not delay taking their children to hospital if they considered there was any risk that the child might have dengue.

He said that while in normal seasons dengue cases reduced rapidly from May, this year it looked likely that more cases would occur in coming weeks.

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