Fri. Nov 15th, 2019

Dengue serotype 3 virus hits Palau for the first time

Palau’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has recorded for the first time cases of dengue fever transmitted by the bite of mosquitos infected with Dengue Serotype 3 virus, a different mosquito-borne virus that has never been seen before in the country, prompting the health institution to immediately issue alert.

The MOH revealed that two confirmed cases of dengue fever caused by serotype 3 virus had been documented recently, according to a press statement sent to the media.

The MOH immediately alerted the public, urging them to follow recommended measures to prevent further infection by practicing the 3S of dengue prevention –  searching and eliminating mosquito breeding sites in and around homes, self-protection measures such as wearing clothing that covers skin and using insect repellant on exposed skin, and seeking early consultation when showing symptoms of dengue fever.

Those who are experiencing sudden high fever, severe headache and backache, chills, body ache, joint and muscle pain, experiencing pain when moving the eyes, appetite loss and vomiting are advised to immediately seek medical assistance as these are the symptoms of dengue fever.

“Dengue Fever is a mosquito-borne disease that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito. These mosquitoes mostly bite during dawn and dusk and thrive in standing water. Symptoms range from mild flu-like illness to severe Dengue Fever which is characterized by severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, and bleeding,” the press statement reads.

People who previously had dengue fever are at risk of having severe dengue fever if infected by the different type of dengue virus, according to the MOH.

The Western Pacific Surveillance and Response Journal (WPSRJ) also documented that dengue fever outbreak caused by the same virus also hit the Solomon Islands in 2013 which resulted into the hospitalization of 401 individuals and death of six others from the period of January 3, 2013 to May 2013. It was reported to be the first large dengue outbreak documented in Solomon Islands. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)

For more information on Dengue Fever, contact the Communicable Disease Unit at 488-2450 or call the Division of Environmental Health at 488-6073 or 488-6345 to know more information on the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases.