Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services officials have confirmed an additional six cases of dengue fever.
There already were four cases of dengue confirmed: two individuals acquired the virus while they were off island. The other two cases were of individuals who caught it on island.
DPHSS on Friday found six additional suspected cases. Officials assessed the individuals. Five of the six are locally acquired cases, meaning these individuals had no recent travel history. The sixth person had recently traveled, which means his or her virus was probably acquired while traveling, according to the Joint Information Center press release.
“To date, there are now seven confirmed cases of locally acquired dengue infection and three confirmed cases of imported dengue infection,” the press release stated.
Imported cases: 3 total (confirmed April, August and September)
Local cases: 7 total (confirmed September)
In the release, health officials reiterated that more cases could be found: “With the enhanced surveillance and continued timely reporting by Guam healthcare providers, DPHSS expects additional cases of dengue to be detected.”
Throughout the week and into the weekend, DPHSS and partner agencies, have been working to reduce mosquito populations and surveillance as well as capture of adult mosquitoes in high-risk areas.
DPHSS continues efforts through the weekend to investigate the newly confirmed cases and identify additional details to limit the spread of the virus, the JIC release stated.
Support continues from other GovGuam agencies, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, Pacific Island Health Officers Association, and local health care providers.
The release also notes that the DPHSS Epidemiology and Surveillance Teams continue canvassing homes and notifying residents in the areas of concern to help clean any potential breeding sites.
Partner agencies from the Department of Public Works, the Mayors’ Council of Guam, Chamorro Land Trust Commission, Department of Agriculture, Guam Environmental Protection Agency, and the Guam Police Department continue to work together in areas of concern.
Insecticide application was conducted at consenting homes in Mangilao on Saturday, the JIC release stated.
DPW continues collecting and transferring debris to Global Recycling. To eliminate mosquito breeding sites, DPW, working with the Dededo Mayor’s Office, removed 28 abandoned vehicles, 20 white goods appliances, and 554 tires from the high risk area identified in Dededo, the JIC release stated.
DPHSS provided the following:
● Dengue fever is not spread directly from person-to-person, it is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes.
● A person infected with the dengue virus usually will have fever for 2-7 days. During the time that a person has a fever they can infect mosquitoes with the dengue virus.
● During the time an infected person has a fever (febrile phase), they should remain indoors and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
● During the time an infected person has a fever (febrile phase), they should not go to school or work.
● Once a person no longer has a fever, they are no longer infectious to mosquitoes. Mosquito avoidance is still recommended for everyone in Guam, regardless.
See your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms of dengue fever: fever, aches and pains, rash, mild bleeding usually around the nose or gums. Visit your nearest hospital emergency room if you experience any of the following symptoms of severe dengue fever: severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, significant bleeding, lethargy or restlessness.
Guamanians can help stop the spread of dengue virus:
Take precautions to prevent mosquito bites by applying insect repellant and wearing light-colored long sleeved shirts and pants. The mosquito that carries the dengue virus favor smaller areas of water as found in artificial containers. Eliminating these areas can help stop the spread of the dengue virus.
The JIC also shared a message for the community is reminded to only share official, verified information from the Joint Information Center.