12-year-old boy in Gianyar tested positive for COVID-19 after dengue-suspected death

File photo of a swab test kit. Photo: Pixabay
File photo of a swab test kit. Photo: Pixabay

A 12-year-old boy in Gianyar regency who was previously suspected to have died from dengue fever was later confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus, following the result of swab tests that came out after his funeral.

“Yes, a boy has died, at first he was brought to a private hospital and diagnosed with dengue fever, but then his swab test result came out positive for COVID-19,” Made Gede Wisnu Wijaya, an official with the COVID-19 task force in Gianyar regency, said yesterday.

The boy, identified by his initials GALP, reportedly died on Sunday, while his COVID-19 diagnosis only came out after his family buried him.

Wisnu told local media outlets that GALP began showing fever symptoms on May 24, and was initially treated at home for two days. The boy then began to exhibit other symptoms, including nausea and pain when swallowing, and was diagnosed with dengue fever when taken to a hospital in Gianyar.

As his condition gradually worsened, GALP was then referred to Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar, where he was subject to a rapid test. With the test results showing “reactive,” the boy underwent a swab test but unfortunately died before the results came through.

GALP’s family reportedly implemented COVID-19 protocol during the funeral on their own initiative, as they were suspicious of the boy’s quick death. 

Following GALP’s positive result for the coronavirus, a team from the Bali Health Agency is reportedly tracing his contacts, which includes hospital staff and those who attended his funeral. The boy’s immediate family has been scheduled for a swab test this morning, while his relatives will undergo a rapid test, Wisnu said. 

Concerns over difficulties distinguishing between dengue fever and COVID-19 have been raised as early as March, considering how symptoms like fever and headache are common to both. In early March, Singapore-based doctors in medical journal The Lancet highlighted the similarities between the mosquito-borne disease and the novel coronavirus, as well as how this could result in false-positive results for dengue. 

Read Also – More than 6,000 dengue fever cases recorded in Bali 

As of yesterday afternoon, Bali has confirmed 482 cases of COVID-19, including 334 recoveries and five deaths.

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