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zika virus indonesia ,smartraveler.gov.au

Latest advice, 17 June 2016

Indonesia is experiencing sporadic transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. We advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites (see Health). The overall level of advice has not changed. We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali.

http://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/a … nesia.aspx

Just to be clear exactly where the advice comes from.

Apart from the minor threat of Zika, the greater problems of malaria and dengue are always there, so a good mosquito repellent is a really good idea.

I use Autan, and never suffering a bite when I use it.

https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7431/27510352870_59e46a7b0c_z.jpg

Basically, not getting bitten is easily the best way to avoid everything, and this cheap and efficient cream looks after that very nicely.

Thanks for preventing! It can be really dangerous!  ;)

Thanks for the warning Tel....

I wish you all good health !

Fred’s post, which is essentially “an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure” is totally spot on!   :top:

One significant problem in relying on foreign office, or departments of state web sites regarding the current dangers related to diseases present here in Indonesia is that they are all woefully behind with current information, and they are far from being experts on the real situation.  It was the rabies problem that we had here in Bali a number of years ago that really proved that to me beyond a shadow of a doubt.  The best source for accurate and current information is the CDC, Center for Disease Control, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Another major shortcoming of foreign office web sites or department of states is their lack of specificity.  By that, what I mean is that what might now be a huge problem in one part of Indonesia is not a problem elsewhere.  For example, Bali is malaria free (and has been for a long time) but that is not the case elsewhere…places like Irian Jaya. 

In Bali, right now, the biggest threat we are facing is from dengue.  I wrote about that elsewhere on this forum.  This is particularly a problem in the Ubud, Gianyar area, but cases are ongoing all over Bali. 

And, just a suggestion to tel522…

When you post something which is clearly taken from a governmental foreign affairs or department of state web site, please be sure to link the exact web site from which the words you quote have been taken.  In other words, where in the world did your post #1 come from? 

Not only would this provide credibility to your post, it also provides the reader with the specific source.  On that line, some foreign governmental offices or departments of state have, and remain, clearly biased with their information…for example, DFAT in Australia.   While your post title included that information (your source is DFAT), the body of your post should also be clear, (IMHO).

DFAT...my Lord, I could write a book about about their games played over all the 17+ years I've lived in Indonesia.  But, I do send them coins from time to time!   :lol:

I think everyone is, or should be aware of dengue , zika is news to me in this part of the world, , smart traveler .gov.au was my link as quoted .

Yup I agree.

We've all known about Dengue for donkey's years. I picked it up in Bali some years ago and my wife had it too earlier this year. We've got to stop visiting Bali so often... ;)

Zika is something we've all been reading about but as it is now here, we really need to consider taking precautions. I appreciate the warning in this thread.

Zika is actually very much aligned and with similar symptoms and attributes as dengue.  Moreover, it is spread by the exact same genus of mosquito as dengue. 

It is not uncommon to misdiagnose zika as dengue or visa versa…(research on web).  And this is not unlike what was going on here in Bali during the rabies scare some years ago…it often being confused by cases of Japanese encephalitis…most often spread here by scratches or bites of macaque monkeys.   

A good and reliable source of information about zika can be found here:

http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/zika-viru … ant-women/

Please note, as directly quoted from that web site: 

“ZIKV (Zika) is a dengue-like virus that is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, most commonly Aedes aegypti. The infection often occurs without symptoms but can also cause an illness similar to dengue.”

Using credible sources is vital to the integrity of this forum and the service it provides.   :top:

"We've got to stop visiting Bali so often... ;)"

Yes, I am fully supportive of tourism on Bali being based far less on numbers of arrivals, and far more on revenue generated.   ;)

I think the goverment of australia is pretty credible , I think one of the functions of this or any other forum for expats is health warnings to make people aware of the risks regarding health or security.

“I think the goverment of australia is pretty credible…”

That’s your opinion…but it sure isn’t my opinion, nor is it the opinion of the vast majority of long term Australian expats that I know here in Ubud.

Just look at the facts.  Australia’s population is about 25 million or roughly 10% of that of Indonesia.  Australians can enjoy a holiday in Bali for far less money than by staying home in OZ.  And for years…all the years I’ve lived here in Indonesia, DFAT has seemed to be far more of arm of the Australian tourism bureau than an objective source of useful and vital information to its citizens.

You can prove this for yourself by a simple exercise…

Compare, at any point in time the DFAT issued warning or travel advisories to any of the warnings or advisories issued by either the US, or the UK at that same time and my point is obvious and crystal clear.  One quick example…for years DFAT did not separate its travel advice or warning from Bali and the rest of Indonesia.   The UK and the US have been doing this from very shortly after the first Bali bombings…14 years ago!  But there are plenty of other examples, and like I said earlier…I could write a book on it. 

I’m very serious.  Just ask most any long time Australian expat on Bali just how seriously they consider any advisory or warning coming out of DFAT when targeted to Indonesia.  DFAT is NOT their source of reliable and credible information when it's essential it have it.   

“I think one of the functions of this or any other forum for expats is health warnings to make people aware of the risks regarding health or security.”

I agree 100%...BUT those warnings and advice MUST come from credible sources! 

Now, I have a question.

Why would a UK citizen rely more on the “advice” coming out of OZ, rather than the UK?

I prefer to listen to the gov of australia  rather than the views of mr ubudian , but ya thats just me .

tel522 :

I prefer to listen to the gov of australia  rather than the views of mr ubudian , but ya thats just me .

And that illustrates very nicely how one can lead a horse to water, but not be able to force it to drink.   ;)

tel522 :

I prefer to listen to the gov of Australia  rather than the views of mr ubudian , but ya that's just me .

I agree completely. I think Australia being a very close neighbour with an enormous number of it's nationals both living in and visiting Indonesia has a vested interested in providing good sound advice for it's people. No offence to anyone, but I believe the Australian Government to be more credible than individual posters in this Forum who have an opposing view.

I also think that rather than debating or disagreeing with the Government of Australia's announcement, we should simply just accept it as a useful warning or wake up call about the seriousness of the Zika virus.

“No offence to anyone, but I believe the Australian Government to be more credible than individual posters in this Forum who have an opposing view.”

Excuse me, but you are confusing my views with the factual information I provided by way of the various links I have provided in my posts on this thread. 

Let’s try to keep these discussions void of personal remarks, shall we?  :top:

And you can take my word for it....in that I am working VERY hard to avoid personal remarks of my own!   :P

I don't usually use mosquito repellent unless I am out traveling around the country or in Bali, but I will certainly reconsider using Autan again and Vape in the house. Both seem to work excellently.

"I don't usually use mosquito repellent unless I am out traveling around the country or in Bali..."

You might reconsider:

https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/ind … ngue-cases

I didn't bother looking for more current information, but based on that alone, if I lived in Bandung, I would.   ;)

tel522 :

I think the goverment of australia is pretty credible , I think one of the functions of this or any other forum for expats is health warnings to make people aware of the risks regarding health or security.

Sadly, not really.

Ubudian's post is far more accurate in that there are Suspected, Possible or maybe cases in Sumatra and Java, but only one confirmed caseat the moment, and that's a 27 year old man in 2015, not a baby or pregnant woman. That probably means there is some minor risk in a few limited areas, but hardly an outbreak to get worried about for the vast majority of Indonesia.

Frankly, I think the Australian government is making a meal of nothing, and their extreme caution is being picked up as fact by several newspapers.
The British Telegraph is making itself look very stupid by offering travel advice against going to Indonesia.

In short, there has been one confirmed case, and that was a year ago.
There was no harm done to the victim and there have been no further cases reported.

Hardly much to worry about.

The general advice remains, but mostly concerns about dengue and malaria, use a cream as the sun starts to go down and you'll be fine.

Also, ignore massively overstated advice from overcautious governments and stupid reporters who bend the truth in favour of a good story.

Hansson :

I also think that rather than debating or disagreeing with the Government of Australia's announcement, we should simply just accept it as a useful warning or wake up call about the seriousness of the Zika virus.

Not if they're wildly inaccurate, and they are.

http://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/a … nesia.aspx

Indonesia is experiencing sporadic transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. We advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites (see Health). The overall level of advice has not changed. We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali.

"Sporadic cases" is one case last year with no further cases reported since and that was no where near Bali.

The warning about avoiding mosquito bites is good, but the rest is little more than a fabrication they should be ashamed of publishing.
It's unscientific rubbish unworthy of a corrupt politician, and positively pathetic for a scientist to come up with.

Hansson :

I don't usually use mosquito repellent unless I am out traveling around the country or in Bali, .

I would strongly advise using something from around sunset as dengue and malaria are real threats in most of Indonesia and south east Asia.
It doesn't hurt to use a cream to avoid the tiny threat of zika, but that would be very low down of the list of reasons to use a cream, and well after comfort as bites can itch a lot and cause you to sleep badly.

Sorry Fred but I choose to take heed of any warnings that Governments put out as they are meant for the good of overseas nationals. Of course others can choose and make up their own minds, but for me, I will always listen to government warnings. But that's just me. I rarely look at links posted here as I feel they are not always reliable, or too regional. Government travel warnings are sometimes over cautious and probably that is a good thing in my opinion. And it's not just the Australian ones I listen too, I take note of the ones put out by Canada and the UK too.

Hansson :

Sorry Fred but I choose to take heed of any warnings that Governments put out as they are meant for the good of overseas nationals. .

That option is up to the individual, but facts should be noted, and the fact seems to be one case a year ago.
I'm less than worried and will be ignoring the rather silly inaccurate/misleading advice from Australia.
Of course there's a minimal vaguely possible danger, but you're very unlikely to catch zika in Indonesia.

“I'm less than worried and will be ignoring the rather silly inaccurate/misleading advice from Australia.”

Yes, and that’s a commonality with DFAT which has been deservedly accused for years of trying to dissuade Australian citizens from coming to Indonesia for holiday.   DFAT is like a redux performance of the famed fable by Aesop, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”  And that fact has been known and understood by experienced and knowledgeable expats in Indonesia for years.  ;)   In fact, it’s even seemingly understood by Australian tourists who flock to Indonesia in the many hundreds of thousands each year without ever considering DFAT’s cries of “wolf!”   

This fact has even been noted by objective Australian journalists with integrity, and just one example of that can be found in the very insightful article linked below:   

https://independentaustralia.net/politi … -seas,5900

As the author notes in that article…

“Although the “Australia in the Asian Century” white paper calls on Australians to learn more Indonesian language at school and more cultural exchanges between the peoples of the two countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) regularly issues travel warnings about Indonesia, effectively telling Australians not to visit Indonesia.”

Apart from Autan and Vape, there is another one which is quite useful and this one I always keep plugged in under my desk. That is Hit, the little bottle of liquid that repels mosquitoes. The range is not all that much, but if kept under a desk it will stop your legs and feet from getting bitten.

Here in Bali a well known and frequently used deterrent for mosquitoes is to plant along the inside compound walls with lemongrass.  We’ve always done that (enjoying fresh lemongrass in our cooking as well) and while it isn’t 100% effective, it is infrequent that we hear that annoying high pitch buzzing within our compound walls.

Local lore also claims that drinking Jamu deters mosquitoes from biting.  I have no idea how reliable that lore is, but there are plenty of other good reasons to drink Jamu regularly anyway.

Yes lemongrass is a good one. They say lavender works too, but I actually don't think much of it. Jamu is highly recommended when you get Dengue Fever. In fact, one needs to drink at least 2 litres of water every day and drink lots and lots of jamu too. That plus constantly taking panadol and of course forcing yourself to eat as well. Should our kids get any strain of Dengue we will definitely hospitalize them to ensure they get their liquids intravenuosly.

Our oldest son Bima just got over a bout with dengue and we did not hospitalize him…nor was it even suggested. 

Aside from the treatment you already mentioned, all of which can be done at home, the most important thing is to have blood work done at least once every day to measure those specific indices that will show if things are getting worse, or better.

Of course hospitalization might in fact become necessary, but by no means is it required to treat all, or even the majority of dengue cases.  There is no sense in exposing a person being treated for one particular virus to all the other viruses that proliferate within a typical hospital environment.   ;)

Well my kids are still 3 and 5 and sometimes it's quite difficult to make them drink water or fruit juice etc. The reason for hospitalizing them is due to their young age and that difficulty. We've already known for the past few years that while they are still so young it is safer to have them hospitalized so that they can take liquids intravenously.

In fact it is commonly very young kids that don't survive the virus due either to detecting it too late or to a lack of fluids. We are not prepared to take that risk with our children so if the blood test shows them to be positive for Dengue we'd zip over to the hospital quickly. Exactly the same thing for Zika. We'd have them tested and hospitalized. Maybe when they are 7 or 8 years old we'd consider keeping them at home.

And yes of course to have blood tests, that's a must.

Obviously this is a parental decision…hospital or not.  My research on the internet as well as the advice of trusted physicians I rely on here on Bali was not to even consider hospitalization unless Bima’s case worsened.

With both Eri and myself being home most everyday, it was easy to stay on Bima, and to engage in his treatment as well as monitoring his fever. 

Unless absolutely necessary, hospitals are the worse place for kids, even if mom, dad, and/or grandparents are there all the time. 

Since you wrote this earlier…in post #21, I haven’t bothered to provide any links:

“I rarely look at links posted here as I feel they are not always reliable, or too regional.” 

But you might consider doing your own homework and consultation with your own trusted MD's before making the decision to hospitalize your kid at the first sign of dengue. 

As I said, this is a parental decision and determination of what’s best for our kids.  And hopefully, you'll never have to deal with this issue.

We have medical doctors in the family and consult them for most things. And I would certainly disagree with you over this. The purpose of hospitalization of infants and toddlers is to get fluids into their system intravenously. If they fail to drink lots of fluids at home them they will dehydrate and possibly die.

For older children who would willingly drink as much as they can, you may be right. But the advice from our doctors for very young children who do not drink so willingly is to not take the chance but to send them to hospital so that saline solution can be administered intravenously.

Now others may choose to follow your advice, but I wouldn't. I prefer to follow the advice of my doctors, who incidentally recommended the same thing should it have happened when we lived in Malaysia.

You might want to talk to some of those doctors you claim to know.  The fact is, the administration of an IV drip does not require a hospital environment.  It can easily be done at home. 

As I already stated…you might also consider doing some homework on this issue.  ;)

In the course of Bima’s care for his bout with dengue, an IV drip never became an issue, but it was always an available option for us if the doctors recommended it.  And that would have been done at home unless his condition worsened.   

"Now others may choose to follow your advice, but I wouldn't."

Let's be clear here.  It's NOT my advice that I'm offering...rather, it's the advice we got from excellent doctors that I have known for many years, and whom I trust.  And this advice is recent, as Bima's run in with dengue was just last month.  As you have already made clear, you haven't been through this experience yet, and I sincerely hope you never do.   

Also as I said earlier, this is totally parental prerogative...but we can at least respect the differences in approaches to parenting.  :top:

Hi everybody,

Please, this is not a debate on how to look after our children.  :huh:

Let's focus on the real subject of this topic please. :)

Thanks,

Priscilla

My last post as far as this thread goes is a statement of fact, with a little comment.

The Zika virus was identified just after WWII

There has been one confirmed case in zika in Indonesia, and that was a man who was identified a year ago and is now considered clear.

There are no known cases at the moment, but there is a possibility of infected people in one small area of Sumatra.

There are no known cases on the island of Bali.

The "Sporadic cases" as described in the travel warning is one case from last year, meaning any risk is tiny and they need to return to school to learn how to use plurals.

There is a clear threat of dengue and malaria, so advice to use a cream is fine, but not especially to protect against a supposed threat from zika.

Yes, to all of the above, and furthermore, the fact that DFAT somehow felt inclined to make a statement about it…a statement which is clearly exaggerated, only serves as further evidence of the abject bias that DFAT has been guilty of for years.  In other words, one should be aware of the sources they rely upon.   ;)   

With nothing more needed to be said on this topic, perhaps this is a good time to lock it up.   :/

Hi everybody,

Everything has been said here and the initiator agrees to close his thread.

Thank you all for your contribution.

Priscilla

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