Dengue outbreak reaches 329
By: L.N. Reklai
June 29, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Number of dengue cases continue to rise since it was first declared an outbreak in November of last year, reaching a total of 329 cases this June 2017.
According to Ministry of Health report, a total of 53 cases were recorded in 2016. From January to June of this year, there have been additional 290 cases confirmed. Month of May this year saw 74 cases and in June 106 cases were identified. [restrict]
In April and May of this year, 3 deaths occurred as result of dengue virus infection in patients with preexisting medical conditions. “This highlights the importance of protecting the vulnerable populations, those with NCDs, infants and young children, elderly and anyone with weakened immune system.”
Of the total cases reported from October 2016 to June 2017, 77.2% occurred in Koror State with total of 254 cases. Overall, cases were reported in Koror hamlets of Madalaii, Ngermid, Ngerbeched, Meyungs, Dngeronger and Ngerchemai. Cases in Ngermid and Ngerchemai have decreased but there is increase in cases in Madalaii, Ngerbeched, Dngeronger and Meyuns.
Airai State has the second largest number of cases, with total of 30 reported between October 2016 and June 2017. Other States affected are Ngarchelong, Aimeliik, Peleliu, Ngatpang, Ngaraard, Ngiwal, Ngardmau, Angaur and Melekeok.
Most reported cases are persons between ages 10 to 29 with highest among those between ages 20-29.
Aggressive clean up of Koror State is being conducted by Koror State Government to remove possible breeding grounds in every hamlet. With schools out and Belau Games on-going, the chances of spreading the virus is high and Ministry of Health is on high alert with their surveillance, public awareness campaigns and increased scope of lab testing capability for dengue and zika.
Ministry of Health continue to urge people to exercise preventive measures such as using insect repellent and covering expose areas of the body to prevent from getting bitten. There is no vaccine for dengue virus. [/restrict]