Bali records over 2,100 cases of dengue fever amid COVID-19 pandemic

The aedes aegypti mosquito, the insect responsible for spreading dengue fever. Photo: Center for Disease Control and Prevention/Wikipedia
The aedes aegypti mosquito, the insect responsible for spreading dengue fever. Photo: Center for Disease Control and Prevention/Wikipedia

Bali officials have reportedly recorded increasing cases of dengue fever across the island this year, as the national death toll of the tropical disease climbed to 254 this week.

According to the latest Health Ministry data, the province ranks fifth with the most cases of dengue fever with a total of 2,173, as reported by Tribun.

West Java tops the list with nearly 5,900 cases, followed by East Nusa Tenggara with almost 4,500 cases. Across Indonesia, there have been more than 39,000 cases since January.

The concurrent outbreaks of dengue and COVID-19 in the country pose complex challenges for authorities and health care workers. Indonesia recorded the highest spike in confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus just yesterday, with 247 cases, bringing the total to 2,738 cases as of yesterday afternoon. 

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.

Indonesia’s spokesman for COVID-19-related matters, Achmad Yurianto, yesterday cautioned the general public to be mindful about the potential spread of dengue fever, especially as we are amid the rainy season, when dengue-bearing mosquitoes are most active. 

Chief of Bali Health Agency, I Ketut Suarjaya, previously said that the province saw increasing cases of dengue fever in January compared to the same period last year, with Buleleng and Gianyar regencies showcasing the highest increase. 

Data from January 2020 shows that Buleleng recorded 382 cases whereas Gianyar saw 117 cases ⁠— compared to 85 cases and 42 cases, respectively, in January 2019. 

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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