Jakarta, IO – According to 2022 data from the Ministry of Health, 143,000 cases of dengue fever cases were recorded throughout the year, with 39% of sufferers being in the 15-44-year-old range. Up to the 33rd week of 2023, there were 57,884 cases recorded with 422 deaths, or a case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.73%. Dengue fever, just like malaria and zika, are persistent tropical diseases whose incidence rate stubbornly remains at 20- 50 cases per 100,000 population level.
“Even though the death rate is below 1%, we have yet to achieve the incidence rate target of 10 per 100,000 population, which is our objective beside zero dengue death by 2030. Dengue fever is such a significant disease that even our National Intelligence Agency (BIN) studies it. Now, the peak of the El Niño is estimated to last all the way through October, along with the rising temperatures it causes.
Rising temperature is correlated to an increase in mosquito bite frequency. When the temperature is 18° Celsius or lower, mosquitoes bite once every 5 days. On the contrary, when it is 30° Celsius or higher, they bite once every 2 days. It turns out that mosquitoes do not need AC,” reports Dr. dr. Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, DHSM, MARS, Ministry of Health Director General of the Prevention and Control of Diseases, when he inaugurated “Let’s Perform 3M Prevention of Dengue Fever Plus Vaccination”, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and Takeda, in Jakarta on Wednesday (27/9/2023).
Other than temperature, humidity and rainfall level also affect the mosquito life cycle, whether in the egg, larva, pupa, or adult stage. Aedes aegypti mosquito eggs can survive without hatching in folds of cloth or wall surfaces. “It takes just the smallest bit of water or humidity touching the eggs for them to grow all the way into an adult stage.
There is a delay in low temperatures, wherein cycles take 13-15 days to complete in contrast to the 6-7 days it would take in higher temperatures. Because mosquitoes are agents of dengue fever, we need the people to participate in their elimination by performing the 3M movement of mosquito elimination – menguras (to drain), menutup (to cover), and mengubur (to bury) items that might contain water and potentially become breeding areas for mosquitoes.
These include outdoor water containers; unused cans, buckets, and plates; and even the water storage tank found behind fridges. Please do not fog the area, because it will cause the mosquitoes to become resistant instead. Other possible efforts to mitigate dengue fever include innovative methods like the Wolbachia technique, which renders the mosquitoes sterile, and dengue fever vaccination. For vaccination, we strongly encourage Regional Governments to work on supplying it to citizens. For example, the Government of East Kalimantan has agreed to perform it,” Dr. Maxi said.
Applicable to Citizens 6-45 Years Old During the same event, Prof. Dr. dr. Sri Rezeki Hadinegoro, Sp.A(K), Chairman of the Indonesian Dengue Community, reports that even though all age groups are at risk of contracting dengue fever, 40%-50% of cases are found among children younger than 15.
“Most dengue fever sufferers show no symptoms until it is far too late. We need to be wary when our children suffer a fever for three consecutive days even though they do not cough or have a cold. The first step is to give them sufficient hydration and paracetamol to reduce the fever. If the fever persists and the child appears listless, take them to the nearest health facility immediately. Dengue vaccination can be administered to citizens from the age of 6 to 45, at 2 intervals. The vaccine will trigger antibody production for 4.5 years, and it covers four types of dengue virus. However, maintaining a healthy, mosquito-free lifestyle remains essential,” Prof. Sri said.
Meanwhile, Dr. dr. Sukamto Koesnoe, Sp.PD, K-AI, FINASIM, from Indonesian Society of Internal Medicine (PAPDI) Adult Immunization Task Force, declares that dengue fever vaccination is safe for hypertension sufferers and controlled autoimmune disease sufferers. However, such patients should still consult their doctors before getting dengue vaccination. (est)