PRESS RELEASE NO.: 2020 – 50
DPHSS to Issue CDC Foundation-Donated Mosquito Nets to Guam Residents
The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) continues its efforts to protect the public against dengue fever. Guam DPHSS Director Linda Unpingco DeNorcey announced today it has received mosquito bed nets treated with Permethrin from the CDC Foundation.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation operates independently from CDC as a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that helps the CDC save and improve lives by unleashing the power of collaboration between CDC, philanthropies, corporations, organizations, and individuals to protect the health, safety and security of America and the world. The CDC Foundation is the sole entity authorized by Congress to mobilize philanthropic partners and private-sector resources to support CDC’s critical health protection mission.
Vestergaard, UPS, UPS Foundation Pitch In to CDC Foundation
To support Guam’s efforts, 5,000 PermaNet®s (long-lasting insecticidal nets) were generously provided through an initial donation to the CDC Foundation from Vestergaard, while in-kind transportation of the bed nets was provided by UPS and The UPS Foundation.
“This generous donation from the CDC Foundation will bring benefits to our community, especially to our vulnerable population from mosquito bites and intercept any further transmission of dengue throughout our island,” said DPHSS Director Linda Unpingco DeNorcey.
Vestergaard is the world’s leading producer of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). The PermaNet® brand offers a range of vector control tools that prevent vector borne diseases such as malaria and Dengue fever. It is the most widely tested and deployed LLIN in the world, protecting users in 100+ countries.
Two-week Islandwide Drive of Issuing Mosquito Repellent Pump Spray
The department recently completed a two-week island-wide drive of distributing pump sprays of mosquito repellents. During Point-in-Time Count of Guam’s homeless population on Jan. 31, 2020, DPHSS issued more than a thousand mosquito repellent pump sprays to Guam’s homeless population through the Guam Homeless Coalition.
The CDC Foundation prepared the donation of 5,000 mosquito bed nets and in-kind transportation, as well as 5,000 repellent pump sprays after DPHSS Director DeNorcey drew the attention of the head of the CDC Foundation. DeNorcey met with CDC Foundation CEO and President Dr. Judith Monroe in a meeting of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) at Atlanta, Georgia in September 2019, and received positive support to help in Guam’s public health response to dengue.
“Through the ASTHO meeting where I met Dr. Monroe, Guam benefitted in terms of tools to help us combat dengue and capacity building in technical assistance we received through the help of a medical epidemiologist assisted our Division of Environmental Health in their field surveillance,” she said.
DPHSS Director DeNorcey emphasizes that there is no cure for dengue. “You can only prevent dengue by cleaning your environment, throwing away anything that can hold stagnant water, emptying containers filled with liquids weekly will help to prevent mosquitos from breeding,” Director DeNorcey said.
The donation from the CDC Foundation will help the community of Guam protect themselves from the dengue virus and help the island continue efforts to contain the virus and reduces cases of the dengue virus. The first locally acquired case of dengue was confirmed in September 2019.
Help Stop the Spread of Dengue Virus
Dengue is not endemic to Guam. However, it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. 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. As a reminder, infectious mosquitoes may still be present, even if no cases remain infectious to mosquitoes. “Fight the bite” preventative measures remain crucial throughout the island. The community is advised to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate mosquito breeding sites to help stop the spread of dengue virus.
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