Indonesia's dengue toll tops 200

Indonesia's dengue fever death toll has topped 200 as more than half the country's provinces are affected by the outbreak.

    The virus has infected 19 provinces since 1 January

    As of Saturday afternoon, 215 people had died and 11,013 had become infected with the mosquito-borne virus in 19 provinces, health ministry spokeswoman, Dr Mariani Reksoprojo said on Saturday.

    The health department calls it an "extraordinary" outbreak because the number of infections is more than double those in the same period last year. 

    Most of the cases are on the island of Java, where more than half of Indonesia's 212 million people live. 

    Countering the illness

    The female mosquitoes which spread dengue breed in clean water that collects in containers. Health officials say efforts to counter the illness depend on the ability of people to keep their environment clean. 

    Cases of dengue have been increasing annually across Southeast Asia, the World Health Organisation has said. 

    Dengue also peaks in cycles of about five years and the current infections come at the peak of that cycle, it said.

    SOURCE: AFP


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