Transmission of epidemic dengue hemorrhagic fever in easternmost Indonesia

Nono C. Sukri*, Kanti Laras, Toni Wandra, Sukman Didi, Ria P. Larasati, Josef R. Rachdyatmaka, Stevie Osok, Petrus Tjia, John M. Saragih, Sri Hartati, Erlin Listyaningsih, Kevin R. Porter, Charmagne G. Beckett, Ingerani S. Prawira, Narain Punjabi, Sri A. Suparmanto, H. James Beecham, Michael J. Bangs, Andrew L. Corwin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In April 2001, a second suspected outbreak of dengue hemorrhagic fever in the easternmost region of Indonesia was investigated in Merauke, a town located in the southeastern corner of Papua, by the Indonesian Ministry of Health and the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2. Principal case criteria of hemorrhagic disease provided for a study enrollment of 15 clinically acute and 37 convalescing subjects. Additionally, 32 comparable age/sex controls were selected from neighboring households. Laboratory diagnosis involved three testing methodologies: virus isolation by cell culture, a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, and serologic assays. Antibody (IgM) to dengue virus was detected in 27% of the acute clinical cases, 30% of the convalescing cases, and only 3% of the matched controls. Dengue 3 was the only viral serotype detected from acute serum samples by the RT-PCR. The mean ± SD age of the acute and convalescing cases was 7.8 ± 5.4 years. Overall hospital records accounted for 172 suspected outbreak cases, all urban residents of Merauke with no recent travel history outside the area. The estimated outbreak-associated case fatality rate among all suspected dengue cases was 1.2%. A seven-year retrospective review of hospital records in Merauke showed negligible disease reporting involving hemorrhagic disease prior to the outbreak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-535
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


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