Update on Number of Dengue Fever Cases

PRESS RELEASE NO.:  2020-008

Update on Number of Dengue Fever Cases

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) reports that on Monday, October 14, 2019, the Guam Public Health Laboratory received laboratory results of one newly confirmed positive case of locally acquired dengue fever.  The test was sent off-island and took about two weeks to return.  This brings the total number of confirmed locally acquired dengue cases to ten and SIX imported cases.

The DPHSS Epidemiology and Surveillance Teams continue to investigate any newly confirmed cases.  Additionally, the Division of Environmental Health’s Mosquito Surveillance Team continue to work with experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Dengue Branch to address surveillance and control of mosquitoes as they respond to dengue cases.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease and is most often spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.  For people who get sick with dengue fever, symptoms can be mild or severe, with any of the following: fever, nausea and vomiting; rash; muscle and bone pain (eye pain, typically behind the eyes, muscle, joint, or bone pain).  Symptoms typically last 2 – 7 days.  Most people will recover after about a week.  Once a person no longer has a fever, they are no longer infectious to mosquitos.  Mosquito avoidance is still recommended for everyone on Guam, regardless.  Warning signs of severe dengue are abdominal pain, persistent restlessness, vomiting, and bleeding. If someone is experiencing these symptoms, they should seek urgent medical attention.

Take precautions to prevent mosquito bites by applying insect repellent and wearing light-colored long sleeved shirts and pants.  The mosquito that carries the dengue virus favor smaller areas of water as found in artificial containers.  Eliminating these areas can help stop the spread of the dengue virus.  When using insect repellent, make sure to always follow the product label instructions.

The community is invited to attend a presentation on dengue basics by medical epidemiologist, U.S. Public Health Service Lt. Commander W. Thane Hancock, and a panel of experts who will provide information and answer questions.  The presentation will take place tonight at 6 p.m. at Merizo Elementary School.  For more information, visit http://dphss.guamdev.com/dengue-fever/ or contact DPHSS, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (671) 735-7297.  If there is an emergency, dial 911.

LINDA UNPINGCO DENORCEY, MPH

Director

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