The Department of Public Health and Social Services is currently monitoring one suspected case of a mosquito-borne illness.
Out of the hundreds of travelers that arrive on Guam, one passenger was found with persistent high fever and severe pain after coming back from the Philippines — symptoms that the Department of Public Health and Social Services is currently investigating whether or not they are signs of the dengue virus.
According to Public Health Director Linda DeNorcey, the department is currently waiting for lab results to determine whether or not the patient may have been infected with the virus. DPHSS is also taking measures to prevent a potential spread of the virus, such as consulting with the patient’s neighbors.
“We got traps set up for the mosquitoes if it was the case. And we also got patients being knowledgeable so that their homes don’t have breeding grounds for these mosquitoes. But we don’t know for sure. It’s not yet confirmed if it is dengue,” DeNorcey said.
While Guam does not have endemic mosquito-borne diseases, it is not uncommon to have imported cases from travelers returning from Palau, the Philippines, or the Marshall Islands.
In addition, although the Aedes aegypti — the mosquito species that is a primary transmitter of the virus — does not live on Guam, the Asian tiger mosquito, which is another vector, does exist on the island.
In light of this, DeNorcey advises the public to help prevent the spread of mosquitoes by practicing precautionary measures.
DeNorcey advises residents to go around their homes and get rid of old tires and clean up areas where there are pools of water because these can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.