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Hadian Sasmita (Indonesia): dengue at age twelve

Hadian Sasmita is a researcher at the National Nuclear Energy Agency, Indonesia. Hadian contracted dengue while she was a child, aged 12, during an outbreak in the capital city Jakarta. Hadian talks about her experience fighting this infection in the story below.

I got infected with the dengue virus when I was 12 years old - this was 20 years ago. After my first symptoms, my infection was clinically confirmed by a medical doctor.

When I think back, I remember we had to go to several hospitals to look for a ward that would be able to take me in because at that time there was a dengue outbreak in Jakarta and all the rooms and wards were full. I remember that we were told some patients had to receive their medical treatment in the hospital hallway as most of the health facilities were completely overcapacity.

Unfortunately, things got worse for me and I developed haemorrhagic dengue. I started to bleed internally to the point where my faeces were black due to bleeding in my digestive system. This means I was actually one or two steps away from Dengue Shock Syndrome and ultimately risking death.

To make things worse, a doctor diagnosed then diagnosed me with a coinfection: hepatitis A. I felt awful. But thankfully, the medical treatment was swift and went well. In the end, I was discharged from hospital after only 7 or 8 days - full recovery at home however took more than a month to fully recover.

This is my story. Thank you.

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