Jakarta has declared a health emergency as an outbreak of Malaria rocks the island of Lombok, just one month after a series of major earthquakes.
The last two months have seen Lombok at the mercy of severe earthquakes, rocking the island with magnitude-6.0 tremors.
Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated in the wake of the events, which has seen damage costs exceed £257million (5 trillion rupiah).
Survivors of the earthquakes were forced into nearby shelters and some were left camping in nearby fields – prime conditions for breeding diseases.
Tremors around Lombok were felt and wide, and aid workers were quickly drawn to the island to help those in need.
According to those aid workers and official government tests, a total of 128 people have now been confirmed infected with the disease, spread by mosquitos.
Among them are women and children, who may be ill-equipped to fight off the infection as the island recovers from its most recent natural disaster.
While Malaria already has a presence in Lombok, regional officials have revealed the latest spate of infections is a step up from average.
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease found in Africa, Asia and South America.
People contract the virus from infected mosquitos which carry a parasite named Plasmodium, different varieties of which are found in different regions of the world.
The most common Plasmodium is Plasmodium Falciparum, which is found mainly in Africa and is responsible for the most Malaria-based deaths worldwide.
In Asia, Plasmodium Vivax is the most naturally occurring, a parasite which causes milder symptoms but can survive in the body for up to three years.
This means Vivax can remerge if it gets the chance, plunging victims into another round of Malaria symptoms.
There is a rarer form of Malaria parasite, known as Plasmodium Knowlesi found in parts of southeast Asia, but only one death has ever been recorded.
Malaria symptoms tend to present in a similar way to the flu, with victims feeling both hot and shivery, with a high temperature of 38C, vomiting, headaches, muscle pains and diarrhoea.
Malaria can be quite deadly however, as even with treatment, the disease can come with a 20 percent fatality rate.
What is being done to combat Malaria in Lombok?
Rahman Sahnan Putra, chief of the West Lombok Health Agency, hailed the latest outbreak as “extraordinary”, as the government begins to tackle regional cases.
The local government has apparently requested £175,000 (3.4 billion rupiah) to help fund mosquito nets, test kits and emergency responses.
Efforts may be complicated, however, as the rainy season is soon to set in next month and people already suffering from lack of care could be plunged into yet more difficulties.
Government health officials will be vital in the coming months, with proper training and response times to individual outbreaks vital to prevent further spreading.