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Jakarta Post

Governor Ahok comes down with dengue

  • Dewanti A. Wardhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 10, 2015   /  05:59 am
Governor Ahok comes down with dengue

Dengue fever has sidelined the capital'€™s No. 1 figure, Jakarta Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama, who skipped work Monday after coming down with the illness.

February and March are the peak breeding season for dengue-carrying mosquitoes, which spawn atop puddles of stagnant water.

'€œThe governor has caught [dengue] fever. He has been feeling unwell for several days and visited the hospital to get himself checked. The test turned out to be positive. Therefore, the governor will be resting today,'€ Gubernatorial and Foreign Affairs bureau head Muhammad Mawardi told reporters at City Hall on Monday.

Mawardi, however, declined to reveal Ahok'€™s whereabouts nor whether the governor was being treated at his home in Pluit, North Jakarta, or at a hospital.

Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat, who will stand in for Ahok and lead the weekly city officials meeting at City Hall, revealed that Ahok'€™s youngest son, 9-year-old Daud Albeener, had also come down with dengue.

'€œThey were both bitten in their home in Pluit and both are currently resting,'€ Djarot told reporters after the meeting.

Later in the day, the Jakarta Health Agency fogged City Hall.

Dengue fever is a disease carried by an Aedes aegypti mosquito that usually bites in daylight. The Culex mosquito is more active at nighttime, however.

It takes between four and 10 days for symptoms to manifest after a person has been bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito. The most common signs are high fever, severe headache, nausea, swollen glands and joint pain.

Health Agency head Kusmedi said this was the time of year when Aedes aegypti mosquitoes normally spawned.

'€œThis time of the year is usually when dengue fever season kicks in. It usually starts right after the rainy season,'€ Kusmedi told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Monday.

Kusmedi revealed that the Health Agency had conducted routine fogging in the area surrounding Ahok'€™s residence in Pluit. However, he said that the PSN (Pemberantasan Sarang Nyamuk '€” the fogging campaign against dengue fever) had not been conducted in Ahok'€™s neighborhood, as residents had not granted the agency permission to do so.

Ahok and his family live in a gated community in Pantai Mutiara, an elite housing complex with tight security.

Tempo.co reported that upon hearing the news about Ahok'€™s contraction of the disease, the North Jakarta Health Agency fogged areas in Pantai Mutiara.

Kusmedi said the agency would intensify fogging in dengue-prone areas and would continue with the PSN campaign.

'€œAs for residents, following the standard 3M rules will greatly help in preventing dengue fever,'€ he said. '€œ3M'€ stands for mengubur (burying), menguras (draining) and menutup (covering). The three strategies represent the city'€™s recommendations for how reducing the amount of standing water where mosquitoes breed.

Earlier this year, the East Java administration declared an extraordinary situation (KLB) status due to a severe outbreak of dengue fever. In the outbreak 1,054 patients were hospitalized for contracting the disease, 25 of whom have died, in 38 regencies and cities across the province.

In Jakarta, Kusmedi said there were 265 cases of dengue and one death in the month of January alone. According to agency data, there were 865 cases of dengue in January last year, and 1,067 and 1,476 cases in February and March, respectively.

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