Outreach team seeks to educate residents about dengue

Officials from the Department of Public Health and Social Services are visiting homes to disseminate information about dengue fever like this informational brochure.

Since the governor declared a state of emergency to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever on the island, several government agencies have been working vigorously within the past few days to provide outreach to the community.

Over the last few days, officials from the Department of Public Health and Social Services have been surveying the 83 homes identified to be high-risk and within the 200-meter radius of the infected household.

DPHSS has been issuing pamphlets about dengue fever as well as offering homeowners to have their properties sprayed with insecticide.

As of today, 53 homes have been visited and 12 residents have consented for their homes to be sprayed with insecticide inside their properties, outside, or both in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to Bertha Taijeron, some of the issues that the members of the outreach team have faced involve accessibility to the residences.

“Some of the challenges they’re facing is the stray dog population, so they just leave the pamphlets maybe on the fence or somewhere the residents can see it. This afternoon, they went back into the homes – the remaining homes that they didn’t visit and also the homes where the people were not home,” Taijeron said.

In addition, the Mayors’ Council of Guam was given several posters and pamphlets concerning dengue for the island’s mayors to distribute to their constituents.

Public Health is also working to conduct presentations with the island’s public and private health providers concerning the signs of the disease.

According to Linda DeNorcey, the director of DPHSS, the department has also reached out to the Centers for Disease Control, requesting their assistance to analyze the strain of dengue present on Guam.

“We want to compare the virus that’s in the mosquito with the virus that’s in the patient’s human sample. So that we can compare the virus off Guam’s mosquito population with those that are around the Pacific islands to see if it’s the same type of virus,” DeNorcey said.

Denorcey stresses that dengue is not a communicable disease and can only be spread via mosquito from someone who is infected to an uninfected person. She says that the transmission of the disease is controllable and encourages the public to discard debris that could as serve as potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes, such as tires or containers.

For concerns related to the dengue fever outreach, contact the Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program at 735-221.