Cases of Dengue fever in Palau have now risen to 26 according to the latest situation report issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on December 18.

The MOH previously declared Dengue Outbreak alert after dengue fever cases were observed to surpass the threshold of 10 cases a month.

The Ministry also alerted the public after the first two confirmed cases were found to be caused by the Dengue Serotype 3 virus which is said to be a mosquito-borne virus that is new to Palau.

The 26 confirmed dengue cases were recorded from December 1 to 16 and MOH continuously conducts monitoring. Serotype classification of these cases, however, are yet to be determined as Palau relies on the technology in Hawaii State Laboratory for the confirmation and serotyping of serum specimens.

After declaring the dengue outbreak, the MOH had made weekly shipment of specimen to Hawaii instead of the usual monthly shipment.

The Ministry had also done weekly distribution of dengue rapid test kits to private clinics in the country.

Most of the patients were found to be residents of Koror, the most populous state of the country, while two patients were residence of Airai State. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)