Public Health responding to dengue case with education, surveillance and control
One case of locally contracted dengue fever is too many and now the Guam Department of Public Health is in full-on attack mode.
"What we're trying to do is stop this we don't want to see any more dengue cases," Territorial Epidemiologist Dr. Ann Pobutsky told KUAM News.
She is on Public Health's attack squad and the agency is not sure how someone who has no history of traveling off-island could have contracted dengue fever.
But if there's one case, it could mean there's probably other cases out there, Pobutsky said.
And to stop the dengue from spreading, Public Health Director Linda Denorcey said they've activated their Arboviral Disease Response Plan.
"It includes our whole team of Public Health individuals such as our epidemiologist, specialist, and also the environmental health laboratory to join and do all forces for vector control," she said. We really want to eradicate it and fumigate these areas that are highly at risk for the mosquito transmission."
Tom Nadeau is public health's chief environmental health officer. He said the Division of Environmental Health has been responding to the recent case through education, surveillance and control.
"We have been disseminating information on about to protect oneself from mosquito bites," he said. "Whether that's use of insect repellant or wearing a long sleeve shirt long pants to just essentially protect themselves from being bit by mosquitoes."
Nadeau said the public should clean their yards from any debris that may collect water. But aside from what you can do at home, his team has also been out capturing adult and larvae mosquitoes to identify them but so far they haven't found anything unusual. Additionally, his team is heightening control by resorting to spraying the area of interest to knock out adult mosquitoes in an effort to prevent future transmission of the disease. Bottom line, Denorcey said everyone should be alert.
"This is not just a public health issue this is a community-wide issue and we need the communities help," she said.
As we reported this is the first case of locally contracted dengue fever in Guam in over seven decades.