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Dengue fever death toll climbs to 161 JAKARTA - The death toll from a dengue fever outbreak hitting Indonesia's sprawling archipelago has climbed to 161, said health ministry data on Wednesday. Dengue fever has traditionally been a killer across the world's fourth-most-populous nation, but the death toll so far this year is more than double the same period last year. The latest figure was compiled from all of Indonesia's 32 provinces, while a count of 91 dead on Tuesday covered just seven and excluded densely populated Central Java.
"The number of deaths due to dengue fever from all of the provinces as of February 18 is 161," ministry spokeswoman Mariani Reksoprodjo told reporters. The total number of cases reported was 8,135. The capital Jakarta -- a city of 12 million dotted with slums and sluggish and polluted rivers -- was the worst affected area in terms of deaths and cases, she said. Health Minister Achmad Sujudi described the outbreak as a national catastrophe but declined to give further details.
Officials said they were still determining whether a new and stronger form of virus had caused the outbreak. "We still have to take blood samples and afterwards it would take two weeks to get the results," said Umar Fahmi, the top ministry official for communicable diseases. In a bid to contain the disease, carried by the aedes aegpty mosquito, officials have been fumigating houses in the capital indiscriminately from slums to affluent suburbs. No vaccine exists for dengue fever, which causes a high fever and haemorrhaging.



Posted in Dengue Fever @ 18 February 2004 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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