Dengue fever and malaria are spreading geographically and seasonally in Indonesia


When my 9 mos daughter suffered dengue hemorrhagic fever back in 2008 in Indonesia, it was in the month of June.  My wife reflected on the timing of the disease to spread, which to her is rather uncommon.  Based on her medical training, dengue hemorrhagic fever disease normally occurs in the months of January and February in Indonesia.

Recently, I read two articles in the Jakarta Post and Kompas reporting the spread of malaria in Banten, Western Indonesia.  Banten, however, is not a location where malaria disease typically occurs. Central and Eastern Indonesia have long been considered as the endemic locations for malaria due to relatively warmer temperatures.

The unusual timing and location of the spread of the diseases should have alarmed the Indonesian health authority to identify a new way of preventing the spread of the diseases.  However,  same prevention practices in killing the vector or avoiding direct contact from mosquiotos to human body are still among the major programs.  (Sorry about the wordings, I am not from the core area of biological science or anything related environmental health).  How is the science of climate change interpreted by Indonesian health authority in preventing the disease?

From the EcoHealth101: Environmental Change and Our Health:

“Despite all our progress, though, we could face a new era of epidemics. That’s largely because many diseases flourish in hot weather. Malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, and schistosomiasis, for example, thrive in the tropics. A warmer Earth could make it easier for these ailments to spread, infecting more and more people. And diseases that currently peak in the summer, at least in temperate climates, could be transmitted all year long.”

The has a lot of information about how climate change has strong influence to the change of pattern of old diseases, and then the occurence of new diseases.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *