DPHSS Working with Partners for Enhanced Surveillance during Festpac
For Immediate Release
May 20, 2016; 4:10pm
DPHSS Release No. 2016-041
The 12th Festival of Pacific Arts (Festpac) begins this weekend with the traditional welcome ceremony for seafarers, and in light of the thousands of people who are anticipated to attend FestPac, the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) and its key partners are working closely to ensure that Guam is prepared to respond to disease outbreaks that may occur during the festivities. DPHSS is working collaboratively with the Pacific Community (SPC), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Community Health Centers, Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, Department of Education, and other health providers.
The DPHSS surveillance team and its partners will be actively monitoring the community’s health on a daily basis to report certain conditions of public health concern. This will be done through daily monitoring and enhanced surveillance activities of influenza-like illnesses, acute fevers and rash, diarrhea, food-borne diseases, and heat-related illnesses. The information collected will assist the Department in providing a timely response, prevention, and control of a potential outbreak, to include mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue Fever, Zika Virus, and Chikungunya.
We have also developed health-related campaign materials and informational posters that will be posted at the venue and school sites. The materials will also be posted on our Department’s website at www.dphss.guamdev.com
Nurses from our department will be working closely with the Department of Education, Guam Fire Department and Community Health Centers to monitor participants and attendees for any health–related issues. There will also be first–aid stations at the sites to provide care for those in need of medical attention, and a booth will be established where the public and participants may apply insect repellent to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
We strongly encourage everyone to protect themselves and prevent the spread of illness by doing the following:
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw tissue in the trash after you use it. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
For further information, please contact the Division of General Administration at 735-7125/7102.