On late Friday afternoon, Nov. 8, 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 interview with the patient has determined that it is a locally acquired infection.  This brings the total number of confirmed locally-acquired dengue cases to 12 and seven imported cases. This new locally-acquired case demonstrates how important it is for the Guam community to maintain efforts to reduce mosquitoes and avoid mosquito bites.

DPHSS continues the enhanced surveillance for suspect cases of dengue through community outreach, laboratory testing, and timely reporting by Guam’s dedicated 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 mosquito breeding sites to help stop the spread of dengue virus.

 

DPHSS Efforts in Pesticide Spraying, Surveillance, and Monitoring

The DPHSS Epidemiology and Surveillance Teams will canvass the homes and notify residents in the new area of concern to help clean any potential breeding sites.  Also, pesticide spraying at the high-risk target areas in Yigo, including F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School and Simon Sanchez High School, are completed.  Pesticide control professionals apply EPA-approved pesticides to high-risk target areas where written consent has been given by the home or building owner.  DPHSS also continues mosquito surveillance to include the capture of adult mosquitoes in high-risk areas.

 

Dengue Fever Symptoms

See your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms of dengue fever: fever, aches and pains, rash, mild bleeding usually around the 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.

 

Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites

The Department of Public Health and Social Services recommends the following simple step to protect yourself and your family:

 

DPHSS advises everyone to avoid mosquito bites to stop the spread of dengue:

  • Use insect repellent with EPA-approved active ingredients:  DEET, Picaridin, 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.