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Six die, 266 others hospitalized in Lombok malaria outbreak MATARAM - At least six people have died and 266 others have been treated at local hospitals and community health centers in East Lombok since a malaria outbreak was first detected in the regency at the end of October. The outbreak struck three subdistricts in the regency concentrating on the Ijobalit and Sekarwangi areas, with the six dead and 232 other people contracting the disease there. The 34 other cases were found in Pijot.

In order to prevent more fatalities, the local government has alerted health centers to prepare more medicines and import doctors and nurses. Regional administrations are also carrying out fumigation efforts to reduce the number of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Officials called for residents to quickly bring their children to hospitals if they had high fevers or showed other malaria symptoms.

"The quicker the residents bring their children to hospitals, the bigger the possibility the children could be saved by doctors," West Nusa Tenggara Health Office chief of disease eradication Thamrin Hijaz said. Thamrin said about 70 percent of the cases were of the virulent and deadly falciparus malaria strain, which attacks the brain. Thamrin said while malaria was endemic in East Lombok regency every wet season, he was surprised at the high numbers of cases this year.

Last year, malaria also struck West Lombok but many less people were infected with the virus, he said, without giving details of the numbers. Thamrin blamed the increase on poor sanitation in the area, which created a sanctuary for malaria larvae to breed. Meanwhile, as reports of the malaria outbreak reached Jakarta, the Ministry of Health reportedly donated thousands of mosquito nets to the residents in the affected areas.


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Posted in Health @ 19 November 2005 09:48 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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