DPHSS Reports Additional Case of Dengue Fever

PRESS RELEASE NO.:  2020-015

DPHSS Reports Additional Case of Dengue Fever

The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS), along with partner agencies, and the Guam community, continue efforts to mitigate the spread of the dengue virus on Guam.

Today, the Guam Public Health Laboratory tested five blood specimens.  One of the tests was confirmed positive for the dengue virus.  The Epidemiology and Surveillance Team is investigating whether the confirmed case is locally acquired or imported.

DPHSS continues to receive reports of suspect cases as a result of the department’s increased community outreach and timely reporting by Guam healthcare providers.  As a reminder, the dengue virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito and cannot spread directly from person-to-person.  Anyone who lives in or travels to an area where dengue virus is found can get it from mosquito bites.  The community is advised to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate mosquito breeding sites to help stop the spread of dengue virus.

 Prevention and Protection

As part of vector control efforts, DPHSS continues the gathering of mosquito traps in areas of surveillance. Preliminary screening tests have returned negative for the presence of dengue virus.

The community is reminded to do their part to minimize the spread of dengue virus. While pesticide spraying is done initially in areas identified as high-risk, it is only a temporary solution. Without removing breeding sites, mosquitoes can return. Pesticide spraying can also be ineffective if overused. Residents are urged to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites by applying EPA-Registered insect repellant and wearing light-colored long-sleeved shirts and pants.

Reduce the number of new mosquitoes that carry dengue by eliminating the places they lay eggs. DPHSS mosquito surveillance suggests that Aedes albopictus is the mosquito species spreading dengue on Guam. Aedes albopictus lays its eggs in natural and artificial water holding containers, such as tree holes, coconuts, bromeliads, water barrels, trash, closed gutters, tarps, and tires. Generally, A. albopictus does not reproduce in large bodies of water, such as ponding basins and reservoirs.

Dengue Fever Symptoms

See your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms of dengue fever: fever, aches and pains, rash, or bleeding (including mild bleeding from 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. To diagnose dengue, a healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for dengue. A blood test is the only way to confirm the diagnosis.

LINDA UNPINGCO DENORCEY, MPH

DIRECTOR

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