According to the Jakarta Post, Bali Today and resident photographer Jason Childs, Bali has been severely touched by numerous dengue fever cases (which is transmitted by mosquito bites). Authorities have also warned the public of a Chikungunya virus going round. As a province Bali is usually spared from these kinds of outbreaks but this latest outbreak has drawn the full attention of the Indonesian authorities. A surf trip to Bali may well expose you to greater dengue fever risks than a trip to Sumatra, Java or Lombok. That said the risk of malaria remains limited on Bali compared to the latter three.
Doctor Gede Wira Sunetra believes the outbreak comes as a result of an explosion in population and construction combined with dire water management practices on the island. 5870 dengue cases were reported on the island in 2013 and if the first few months of 2014 are anything to go by then 2014 could overshoot that figure by a long shot, especially in the area around Denpasar.
Bali’s Health Agency has sounded an alert to the local population in order to limit mosquito breeding grounds to a maximum and warned that the peak of the outbreak will most likely be the months of April and May.
The other concern is that a significant number of victims have died in the last few weeks and those most vulnerable to the fever remain young children and babies. So if you’ve planned a trip to Bali in the near future, ensure you take all the necessary anti-mosquito precautions both during the night and day. Mosquito nets, repellants and appropriate clothing a must. There are no vaccinations against dengue.