Teens take precautions amid dengue cases

BREEDING GROUNDS: Stagnant water, such as the water trapped inside an old tire seen in this photo taken in September, can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes that can carry dengue fever. Post file photo

A second person with locally acquired dengue infection has been identified by public health officials. 

According to a press release from the Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense, the person was seen at the Guam Memorial Hospital emergency room. 

The adult male resides in Swamp Road, Dededo. 

The containment efforts include the immediate canvassing and notification of potentially affected areas, spraying, and ongoing surveillance as required by Public Health’s response plan, stated in the press release.

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

Local officials have sprayed insecticide at two schools in Ordot and said efforts are underway to spray an area in Mangilao in a 200 meter radius of the residence of the first confirmed case. 

“Our Public Health response team has been prepared to respond to any additional cases as they present themselves. Our people should know that every expert and resource at our disposal is being used to address this issue aggressively and to keep our people safe,” stated Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero in the press release.

“Yesterday, I met with Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the World Health Organization’s Western Regional Director for the Western Pacific, who expressed confidence in our response plan and the team charged with its implementation.”

Along with the first dengue case confirmed on Sept. 11, 2019, these are the only two locally acquired cases that have been detected in Guam in the last 75 years. All previous cases were imported from off-island. DPHSS remains prepared and anticipates the identification of other suspected and confirmed cases.

DPHSS, the governor's office, and GHS/OCD are working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other local and federal partners to minimize the spread of the dengue virus and to coordinate a community-wide effort to limit its scope.

The principal symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding usually around the nose or gums.

Anyone who suspects they have dengue fever, please see your healthcare provider.

Some patients with dengue infection experience severe illness that can require hospitalization. The warning signs of severe dengue include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, bleeding, lethargy or restlessness. If you experience warning signs of severe dengue, please visit your nearest hospital emergency room.

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