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Avoid the Puddles

Health Officials Warn Bali Residents to be On Guard for Dengue Fever

(1/15/2012) The Jakarta Post reports that health authorities in Bali are warning people to be on guard against a new outbreak of dengue fever, a disease cyclically tied to the onset of the rainy season.

Bali recorded 12,000 cases of dengue fever in 2010, linking the outbreak to 34 deaths.

“Rainy season often trigger a spike in the number of dengue fever cases. In 2010 we had to declare an outbreak because reported cases had reached 12,500,” said Bali Health Agency head, I Nyoman Sutedja.

He went on to warn: 

“We are asking the public to pay attention to puddles formed after the rain because those will provide perfect breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary vector of dengue. The puddles should be drained immediately.”

In recent weeks, local hospitals in Bali have recorded an increase in dengue fever cases. Sanglah General Hospital recorded 29 dengue cases in the first two weeks of 2012.

One hospital official in Denpasar said that traditionally, cases reach their peak by the middle of the year. This year’s exceptionally heavy rainy season is expected to add to the possibility of an increase in dengue cases followings last year’s reported decrease.

An anti-malarial officer from east Denpasar said that new housing developments may be a hidden source of new cases. Unattended puddles of waters at construction sites may be breeding grounds for mosquito larvae.