UNS— Recently, cases of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) have been on the rise. This is happening in various regions across Indonesia, even since the end of 2023. In Surakarta itself, there have been 32 cases of DHF since the beginning of the year, with one fatality.

Dengue fever is caused by a virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which bites individuals previously infected with the dengue virus and becomes a carrier. If this mosquito bites someone else, that person will also contract dengue fever. Therefore, dengue fever cannot spread from person to person.

DHF can affect anyone, including children who are particularly vulnerable to DHF. UNS Hospital Pediatric Specialist, Dr. Debby Andina Landiasari, Sp.A., explained that this is due to the environmental factors surrounding children, as well as their still developing immune systems.

“The Indonesian Pediatric Society (IDAI) explains that environmental factors are one of the reasons children are vulnerable to DHF. This is because children’s immune systems are not as strong as adults’, and children tend to spend more time indoors. The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, carriers of the dengue virus, often inhabit indoor spaces, especially dark and humid areas. Older children are usually infected with DHF while playing at school or in parks because Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can fly up to 200 meters and bite children within that range,” Debby explained to uns.ac.id on Thursday (21/3/2024).

Regarding the symptoms of DHF in children, Dr. Debby mentioned that the early symptoms include high fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and bone pain, and the appearance of red spots on the hands or feet. Dr. Debby also added several symptoms that require immediate, serious attention.

“If a child experiences high fever and develops symptoms such as vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bleeding, inability to eat or drink, and reduced urination, then parents should immediately take the child to the nearest health facility,” she added.

There have been many cases of children contracting DHF who eventually succumbed. Dr. Debby then explained about the phases or cycles of dengue fever that parents need to pay attention to so that children can receive prompt and appropriate assistance.

“The phase of dengue fever is referred to as the ‘saddle cycle’ where fever on days 1-3 is the fever phase. Fever on days 4-6 is the critical phase where the fever in children starts to subside. Fever on days 7-8 is the recovery phase. It is during the critical phase that children are vulnerable to worsening symptoms, even though the fever has subsided. Symptoms that may arise during the critical phase include severe bleeding, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and dehydration. If not treated immediately, the child may go into shock. And shock that does not receive prompt and appropriate treatment will result in death,” Dr. Debby said.

Lastly, Dr. Debby provided methods or steps to prevent children from being bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the carrier of dengue fever, including the 3M Plus approach. Additionally, dengue fever prevention can be achieved by administering dengue immunizations to children aged six and above.

“Prevention can be done through Mosquito Nest Eradication (PSN) with the 3M Plus approach, which includes draining or cleaning water containers, tightly covering water storage, reusing or recycling items that could potentially become breeding grounds for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, and additional prevention methods such as fogging.

Dengue fever can also be prevented by administering dengue immunization to children aged 6 and above,” Dr. Debby concluded. HUMAS UNS

Reporter: Adisti

Editor: Dwi Hastuti

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