DPHSS warns residents about dengue

The old DPHSS building in Mangilao. (PNC file photo)

With reports of an additional confirmed case of imported dengue fever on island, Department of Public Health and Social Services director Linda DeNorcey assures that Guam is not in danger of a dengue outbreak.

However, DPHSS warns that Guam will likely continue to see additional suspected and confirmed dengue fever cases this year from immigrants, migrants and residents who travel back and forth, to and from the Philippines, or to and from island states in Micronesia.

Thus, DeNorcey is asking the public to take the necessary safeguards against dengue.

“There’s no vaccine for the dengue fever. As you know, it is a virus. If you are infected through the Aedes aegypti mosquito that is the primary transmitter. Now we don’t have the Aedes aegypti mosquito, that is the good news. But we also have a possible mosquito — and that is the Aedes albopictus or the Asian tiger mosquito. We just want everyone to be cognizant that if you are feeling any symptoms, to please see your provider right away to be examined. Please notify them if you ever have been to any of the outer islands that have any outbreaks of dengue fever,” DeNorcey said.

Public health also cautions the community to stay safe when traveling to areas where dengue fever is present.

DeNorcey stressed that dengue fever is not endemic on Guam and dengue virus transmission is not occurring on the island.

Public Health recently reported that there are currently several outbreaks of dengue fever in the Western Pacific region, including Palau with 486 cases from Dec. 1, 2018 through Aug. 11, 2019, Yap and the Marshall Islands. The latest case reported was an individual who traveled to Yap.

“There are cases that have been imported to Guam. The second case came from Yap. Of course, you know all around us, we have outbreaks occurring in the Philippines also from Palau and the Marshall Islands. So we want them to be aware that it is not endemic in Guam and the virus transmission is not occurring on Guam These are imported cases,” DeNorcey said.