Health officials confirmed another case of locally acquired dengue fever.
The Guam Public Health Laboratory of the Department of Public Health and Social Services tested and confirmed the case on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed locally acquired dengue cases to 12 and seven imported cases.
"This new locally acquired case demonstrates how important it is for the Guam community to maintain efforts to reduce mosquitoes and avoid mosquito bites," Public Health said in a press release. The dengue virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot spread directly from person to person.
DPHSS doesn’t ID new area of concern
The DPHSS epidemiology and surveillance teams will canvass the homes and notify residents in the new area of concern to help clean any potential breeding sites, the release states. Public Health hasn't said where the new area is.
The Guam Environmental Protection Agency, working with a local contractor, conducted pesticide spraying at the high-risk target areas in Yigo, including F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School and Simon Sanchez High School in the first weekend of November. DPHSS continues to capture adult mosquitoes in high-risk areas. It also continues its enhanced surveillance for cases of dengue through community outreach, laboratory testing, and timely reporting by Guam’s dedicated health care providers.
The community is reminded to clear yard debris to help eliminate mosquito breeding sites.
Dengue fever symptoms
Officials urge residents to see their health care provider if they experience any of the following symptoms of dengue fever:
• aches and pains
• rash; and
• mild bleeding, usually around the nose or gums.
Additionally, they urge residents to go to the nearest hospital emergency room if they experience any of the following symptoms of severe dengue fever:
• severe abdominal pain
• persistent vomiting,
• significant bleeding; and
• lethargy or restlessness.
"To diagnose dengue, a health care provider may order blood tests to look for dengue," the release stated. "A blood test is the only way to confirm the diagnosis."
Protection from mosquito bites
Health officials provided the following recommendations to prevent mosquito bites:
• Use insect repellent with EPA-approved active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-methane-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone.
• Wear light-colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Always follow the product label instructions.
• Re-apply insect repellent as directed.
• Do NOT spray repellent on the skin under the clothing.
Tips for babies and children:
• Always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
• Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months.
Instead, dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
• Cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
• Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children younger than 3 years.
• Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face. Do not apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin.
Health officials said local organizations can request information briefings. Additionally, posters and educational materials are available at the department’s website for download.
You can visit http://dphss.guam.gov/dengue-fever or call (671) 735-7297 for more information.