GMH ready if dengue cases rise

(PNC file photo)

The Guam Memorial Hospital is ready should there be a spike in dengue cases on island.

GMH administrator Lillian Perez-Posadas told Andrea Pellacani on NewsTalk K57 that the hospital has a plan and protocol in place to handle any increase in dengue cases.

This plan includes triage procedures and use of the urgent care facility.

Last Friday, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) announced that it tested and confirmed one additional case of locally acquired dengue infection. Before the announcement, seven days went by without any announcement of any new case of locally acquired dengue.

But with the enhanced surveillance and continued timely reporting by Guam healthcare providers, DPHSS expects additional cases of dengue to be detected.

Posadas acknowledged that there has been an increase in patients coming into GMH with flu-like symptoms but not necessarily dengue.

But she said those with suspected dengue don’t need to be hospitalized right away as long as they are hydrated and not get to the point of really having high fever.

To date, there are now eight confirmed cases of locally acquired dengue infection and four
confirmed cases of imported dengue infection. The fourth additional imported case was reported late.

Posadas also said GMH is continuing to cope with a shortage of beds and nurses. She said this is not really new as it has been going on for years, even during the previous administration.

She did stress that GMH is continuing to recruit nurses and there’s a new batch of nurses who graduated from the University of Guam, which GMH has already recruited.