Dengue fever has killed at least 17 people in Indonesia this month and nearly 2,300 people have been infected, a senior Health Ministry official said Thursday.
The disease spreads each year during the cooler wet season when mosquitoes are more prevalent. Hundreds of people die of the illness in Indonesia each year.
Dr. Erna Tresnaningsih, the ministry's director of communicable disease control, said the death toll is expected to rise in coming days as information from outlying districts reaches authorities in the capital.
Dengue, which is endemic to Southeast Asia, is spread by mosquitoes and causes joint pains, high fevers, nausea and a rash. In severe cases, it results in internal bleeding and death.