Updated: Jun 23, 2021
The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) has received a laboratory-confirmed case of dengue fever on June 21.
The last two local sporadic cases of dengue fever occurred more than 15 months ago and were more than a month apart in January and February 2020.
There was a total of 22 cases in all of 2019 (13 locally acquired and 9 imported cases), including cases from the September 2019 outbreak.
The DPHSS will declare another dengue outbreak if the number of locally acquired confirmed cases is three or more in a two-week period.
The public is urged to continue prevention efforts and clean up trash, water containers and other mosquito breeding areas to protect themselves. This is particularly important with the rainy season beginning.
As part of vector control efforts, DPHSS will conduct surveillance in areas identified as high-risk. Pesticide spraying will also be done in these areas as necessary.
According to the World Health Organization, the global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades. In the Western Pacific Region, the number of reported dengue cases has more than doubled, from about 200 000 in 2008 to over 450 000 in 2015.
Officials remind the community to do their part to minimize the spread of dengue virus. While pesticide spraying is done initially in areas identified as high-risk, it is only a temporary solution. T
he best preventive measure for residents living in areas infested with mosquitoes is to eliminate the places where the mosquito lays its eggs, which are primarily artificial containers that hold water.
Mosquito larvae only need a little bit of standing water to survive. DPHSS wants to remind residents that breaking the mosquito life cycle starts at the home. Without removing breeding sites, mosquitoes can return. Pesticide spraying can also be ineffective if overused.
The Department asks residents to do their part to reduce the mosquito population with some simple steps:
• Properly cover or discard and dispose all containers that collect rainwater or water, such as flowerpots, garbage cans, recycling containers, wheelbarrows, aluminum cans, boat tarps, old tires and buckets.
• Flush birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
• Flush ornamental bromeliads with water, or treat with BTI, a biological larvicide available at home stores.
• Clean roof gutters, which can become clogged and hold water.
• Change the water in outdoor pet dishes regularly.
• Keep pools and spas chlorinated and filtered.
• Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish.
• Cover rain barrels with screening.
• Check for standing water under houses, near plumbing drains, under air conditioner drip areas, around septic tanks, and water pumps.
• Take steps to eliminate standing water, improve drainage, and prevent future puddling.
It’s important for residents to remember the four Ds of mosquito prevention:
1. Drain: Empty out water containers and scrub the sides to remove mosquito eggs at least once every 5 days.
2. Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
3. Defend: Properly apply an EPA-Registered mosquito repellent such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon-Eucalyptus.
4. Dusk and Dawn: Avoid activity during those times when mosquitoes are most active.