Dengue community briefings this week

SPRAYING DENGUE AWAY: In this file photo, employees for a contractor spray insecticide at Ordot-Chalan Pago Elementary School in September as officials worked to eradicate mosquitoes or larvae on the school campus. Photo courtesy of the Guam Department of Education

The Joint Information Center is aware of several unverified social media posts and messages identifying Ordot Chalan Pago as “ground zero" for the local case of dengue fever. 

Jenna Blas, who leads the JIC as the spokeswoman of the Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense, said the social media post is false and "there is no confirmed origin at this time." Officials noted that the community is "reminded to refrain from sharing unofficial social media posts or messages that are not from the JIC." They have said in the past that sharing unofficial information leads to misinformation and confusion. 

The unverified social media posts followed news that a local vendor sprayed insecticide at Ordot Chalan Pago Elementary School and Agueda Johnston Middle School on Sunday and again today. The schools were closed today but are expected to resume classes tomorrow, Tuesday. 

The insecticide spray is an effort by the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services, Office of the Governor, Guam Environmental Protection Agency, GHS/OCD, Guam Department of Education, and local and federal partners to minimize the spread of the dengue virus, according to the press release.

Additionally, residents in Mangilao, living within the 200-meter radius of the confirmed case, also are being asked to have their homes sprayed to control adult and larval mosquitoes, the press release states. Outreach efforts were conducted throughout Monday in collaboration with the Mangilao Mayor’s Office and will continue throughout the week.

The vendors used insecticides ​Bonide® Mosquito Beater Larvicide, T​ alstar Professional Insecticide and Demon®​ ​ Max Insecticide, officials said. Guam EPA has reviewed Safety Data Sheets and product labels for the insecticides that were applied by the contractor, and GEPA has found that these insecticides are EPA-Registered and EPA-Established in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Guam Pesticides Control Act. Additionally, the contracted vendor is permitted with GEPA as a Certified Pesticide Applicator.

The precautionary spraying can provide for effective vector control, reduce the production of mosquito larvae and the emergence of breeding and biting mosquitoes, with minimal adverse impacts toward human and environmental health, the release states. Based on the insecticide labels, the threat to human health is minimal due to low toxicity.

Mosquitoes transmit virus

Dengue fever is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, and cannot spread directly from person to person. The best preventive measure for residents living in areas infested with mosquitoes is to eliminate areas where mosquitoes lay eggs, which are primarily artificial containers that hold water.

DPHSS continues to work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners to minimize the spread of the dengue virus. All healthcare providers are urged to be on alert for additional cases, and a physicians’ alert has been disseminated.

For more information, contact the DPHSS epidemiologist at (671) 888-9276 and refer to attached Frequently Asked Questions about insecticides used.

Recommended for you