Governor declares state of emergency to fight dengue

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

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero signed Executive Order No. 2019-21 last Sept. 16, declaring a state of emergency on Guam and releasing funds in order to assist the Department of Public Health and Social Services in preventing an outbreak of dengue fever on Guam.

According to the executive order, immediate measures must be taken by all government agencies responsible for ensuring that Guam is protected to the greatest extent possible from the spread of dengue fever.

Under the order, Department of Public Health and Social Services shall continue to
coordinate with all government departments, agencies, instrumentalities and other public entities in order to prevent any outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases.

In addition, all affected agencies and other public entities shall continue to cooperate fully with the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

The executive order also authorizes the emergency procurement of supplies and services no more than $250,000 from general fund appropriations for the executive branch for expenses related to the fight against dengue.

On Wednesday, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) has confirmed that a second person with locally acquired dengue infection has been identified.

The governor said her administration’s public health response team has been prepared to respond to any additional cases as they present themselves.

“Our people should know that every expert and resource at our disposal is being used to address this issue aggressively and to keep our people safe,” the governor said.

DPHSS also said that it is working closely with the Office of the Governor, Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other local and federal partners to minimize the spread of the dengue virus and to coordinate a community-wide effort to limit its scope.