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A new variant of dengue fever is born out of a marriage between different viruses of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The new virus thrives in cities with high population mobility. Symptoms of the disease are not clear as those infected show no signs of extreme fever. A high level of stress adds to the risk of a person being infected in the wet season.
Thalassemia is a hereditary disease for which there is as yet no cure. Patients must receive monthly blood transfusions, for life. Up to 10 percent of Indonesians suffer from thalassemia. Without preventive measures, 22,000 new patients are predicted to appear. A social foundation conducted blood tests at the end of December on couples planning to get married and will continue the same program next month.
Swine flu, first reported in Mexico early last month, has spread to many other countries in the world. Last week the World Health Organization declared the flu situation close to a pandemic. How deadly is swine flu compared with other kinds of influenza? Will it enter Indonesia?