PRESS RELEASE NO.: 2020-010
DPHSS Updates Number of Locally Acquired Dengue Infection Cases; Gives Safety Tips for Halloween Treaters
On Monday, October 28, 2019, the Guam Public Health Laboratory of the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) tested and confirmed another positive case of dengue fever. An epidemiologic investigation has determined that it is a locally acquired infection. This brings the total number of confirmed locally-acquired dengue cases to 11 and seven imported cases.
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. The community is advised to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate its breeding sites to help stop the spread of dengue virus.
The DPHSS Epidemiology and Surveillance Team continues to investigate any newly confirmed cases. Additionally, DPHSS, through its vendors, continues to conduct pesticide application in areas of surveillance identified by the DPHSS. Pesticide control professionals apply EPA-approved pesticides to these areas of surveillance where written consent has been given by the home or building owner.
Safety Tips for Halloween Night
As Halloween approaches, the Department of Public Health and Social Services recommends the following simple steps for an enjoyable and safe Halloween:
DPHSS advises everyone to be vigilant against mosquito bites to help stop the spread of dengue:
- Use insect repellent with EPA-approved active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US), 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 old.
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 under 3 years old.
- 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.
Educational Materials and Presentations
Informational briefings can be made available to organizations upon request. Also, posters and educational materials are available at the department’s website for download. Visit http://dphss.guamdev.com/dengue-fever/. For more information contact at (671) 735-7297.