The Commonwealth Health Care Corp. has confirmed a second case of dengue in the Commonwealth. Similar to the first case, the second patient has also just returned from a trip to Palau. CHCC expects the patient to make a full recovery.
In a statement last Friday, CHCC believes that the patient contracted the infection during the person’s trip to Palau. This is the second case of a person returning from Palau with the disease. There is currently a dengue fever outbreak in Palau. The first patient has fully recovered from the infection.
The CHCC statement assures that there is still no evidence that on-island transmission of dengue has occurred; CHCC believes that the chance of an outbreak remains low.
CHCC confirmed its first dengue fever case last Aug. 9. Once the patient reported symptoms of dengue fever, CHCC quarantined the patient to keep any means of spreading the dengue fever as remote as possible.
The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services reported yesterday one additional confirmed dengue case in Guam. The individual recently returned from a trip to Yap.
The DPHSS reported that there is no dengue outbreak and dengue virus transmission is not occurring on the island. It reported a total of 41 cases from 1988 to 2018.
A total of two cases have been confirmed in 2019 in Guam, both contracted from off-island. Guam will likely continue to see additional suspected and confirmed dengue fever cases this year from immigrants, migrants, and residents who travel back and forth to countries that have dengue fever outbreaks.
CHCC approximates that one in four people with dengue will become sick, and it usually is a mild illness that does not require hospitalization. Symptoms of dengue fever are sudden high fever, severe headaches and pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and a skin rash that appears two to five days after the onset of the fever.
CHCC urges anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of dengue fever, especially if the person has recently returned from a country with a dengue fever outbreak, to see a doctor right away. They advise that anyone who intends to travel to a country with a dengue outbreak such as the Philippines, Palau, Yap, and the Marshall Islands, to take special care to avoid being bitten by any mosquitoes while on the trip and for two weeks after the person returns to the CNMI.
Although there is a vaccine for dengue fever, it has only been approved for those who have already been infected with dengue.
For more information on dengue fever, contact the CHCC Public Health and Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program at (670) 234-8950, or email the Surveillance Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about controlling mosquito populations, contact the Bureau of Environmental Heat at (670) 664-4870/72/73, or email BEH director John Tagabuel at email@example.com.