Super Typhoon poses challenges for dengue mitigation

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With typhoons, there’s rain and when there’s rain, there are mosquitoes. Following the closure of several government agencies around Guam in the midst of Super Typhoon Hagibis, the Department of Public Health and Social Services has resumed its work in mitigating the spread of dengue fever.

According to Chief Environmental Public Health Officer Tom Nadeau, the storm has posed some challenges for the department.

“The weather has certainly made it difficult, more challenging. There’s always concern about drift from the wind, rain washing away the pesticide. So we can’t do it when it’s raining and we have to give a certain amount of time. So that’s currently one of our biggest challenges in responding and getting the pesticide application to the areas of surveillance as quickly as possible,” Nadeau said.

As it stands, there are currently nine confirmed cases of locally acquired infections and six that have been imported. And to provide further assistance, Nadeau says that Public Health will bring in an entomologist later this week to give more extensive insight on the issue.

“There is a plan to have a medical entomologist from the CDC to come to Guam and give their expertise in addressing our current incident. He will be assisting us in strategizing the response plan,” Nadeau said.

If you would like to know more about dengue fever, you can attend an informational briefing at GCC tonight at 6pm in their multipurpose auditorium room or call Public Health at 735-7159.

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