Impetigo most common in Kagman, Tanapag shelters


Impetigo, a skin disease that causes red sores and is highly contagious, is the most common disease found among those who sought refuge at shelters in Kagman and Tanapag, according to Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther L. Muña.

She said CHCC’s mobile clinic made the rounds of all Kagman shelters—the Kagman Community Center, Kagman High School, and Chacha Oceanview Junior High School—and Tanapag Middle School and have found several cases of impetigo.

She said impetigo can be prevented by proper hygiene and antibacterial soap. Impetigo affects the skin anywhere in the body but commonly occurs around the nose and mouth, hands, and forearms and in young children, the diaper area.

It is contagious and can spread to anyone who comes into contact with infected skin or other items such as clothing, towels, and bed linens that have been touched by infected skin and, since it can itch, it could be spread to other parts of the body after scratching the infected area.

Muña said that alcohol-based sanitizers were distributed and immunizations were also administered.

Yesterday, the mobile clinic began at the San Vicente Elementary School shelter around 9:30am and then moved toward the shelter at Koblerville Elementary School.

She did not provide information on any other illness found at SVES and KES.

At the Commonwealth Health Center, 70 people are currently admitted, Muña said.

“The medical-surgical ward is over-capacity by three rooms and 10 people are under social admissions as non-patients to power oxygen concentrators,” she said.

She said the hospital is prioritizing residents with serious injuries and medical conditions, while “social admissions” are limited to late-term pregnant women and those with oxygen dependency and who use oxygen concentrators that require electricity. Social admissions are for those that are non-patients but require some medical assistance.

CHCC on Friday activated its Saipan-wide crisis response in anticipation of a months-long recovery period for the island in the wake of Typhoon Soudelor.

Shelter capacity

So far, 595 individuals are staying in shelters as of 10am Saturday, according to CHCC’s census.

KCC had 51, KHS had 70, SVES had 83, KES had 59, Garapan Elementary School had 68, Tanapag Middle School had 48, Tanapag Head Start had 40, Office on Aging had 121, and Chacha had 47.

CHCC and several of its response divisions such as the Department of Public Health and Community Guidance Center have set in motion what could be called an islandwide outreach.

CGC has assembled a crisis response team for a mental health outreach plan for the community. Priority for CGC’s response team is the emergency shelters. They will be deployed to the shelters to share strategies and activities that will promote mental and emotional wellness.

Today, Aug. 10, four teams will be going to Tanapag Middle School, Tanapag Head Start, and San Vicente Elementary School. On Tuesday they will visit Koblerville Elementary School and the Office on Aging. On Wednesday they will be at Kagman High School, Chacha Oceanview Junior High School, and the Kagman Community Center and on Thursday they will revisit the Aging office and SVES.

DPH is also informing families that have children enrolled in the Early Intervention Services, Shriners Program, and Newborn Hearing Screening Program, along with the H.O.M.E Visiting and WIC Program, that they will be mobilizing a van to visit families to provide some services and supplies.

DPH’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau is locating families with children with special healthcare needs and will be visiting to provide assistance from Aug. 13 to 17. The MCH Bureau and WIC Program will be visiting the following shelters to provide WIC food benefits and other services to clients enrolled in their program:

• Aug. 10: Koberville Elementary and SVES

• Aug. 11: all Kagman shelters

• Aug. 12: Tanapag Middle School and Head Start

• Aug. 13: Garapan Elementary School

• Aug. 14: Aging Office

Jayson Camacho | Reporter
Jayson Camacho covers community events, tourism, and general news coverages. Contact him at

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