Imported dengue fever case reported on Guam

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A female Aedes aegypti mosquito ingesting a blood meal.(PNC photo)

Guam – There is one confirmed imported case of dengue fever on Guam, according to the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS).  An imported case means the individual did not contract the disease on island. 

Cases of isolated imported cases of dengue fever have been reported on Guam in the past. Back in 2017, an isolated case was also reported by public health. No other information was provided by the department regarding the case.

Meanwhile, the department said that there are several outbreaks of dengue fever in the Pacific region. The Republic of Palau reported around 150 cases, while the Philippines had more than 56,000 cases and 227 deaths.

In 2017, Palau and other Pacific island nations also reported a dengue outbreak include New Caledonia, which has reported 11 deaths, Fiji, Vanuatu, American Samoa and French Polynesia.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by any of one of four closely related viruses, which are transmitted to humans through an infected bite. The Aedes aegyti mosquito is the primary vector or transmitter of the disease. Fortunately, according to DPHSS, this type of mosquito is not found on Guam.

However, another dengue carrier, Asian tiger mosquito or Aedes albopictus, exist on Guam. With this in mind, public health cautions the public to be vigilant in preventing the transmission of the disease and eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

There is no vaccine for dengue fever. So DPHSS cautions those who are traveling to the Philippines and Palau to take precautions and prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes.

DPHSS listed the following dengue fever symptoms:

  • High fever;
  • Severe headache;
  • Severe pain behind the eyes;
  • Joint pain;
  • Muscle and bone pain;
  • Rash, and;
  • Mild bleeding usually around the nose or gums.

DPHSS also listed several preventive measures:

  • Properly cover or discard and dispose all containers that collect water;
  • Flush birdbaths and wading pools weekly;
  • Flush ornamental bromeliads with water or treat with BTI, a biological agent used for controlling mosquitoes.