The most recent update on dengue fever suggests that 502 Palauans caught dengue since the declaration of theoutbreak. There have been two deaths attributed to dengue and the total number of dengue cases has reached up to 586.

“There have been cases reported in 13 out of 16 states. Another death attributed to dengue infection occurred during the last reporting period, bringing the total number of fatalities to two,” Ministry of Health report states.

The basic test to detect dengue costs $11 at the Belau National Hospital. The total expenditure on medical care depends on every case and severity of dengue.

There have been 160 serotyped cases of DENV-3. The last recorded cases of DENV-2 in Palau were from November of 2018

However, an employee at finance department of BNH said that in cases of tourists the expenditure on money spent for medical care might go up as they don’t have a social security number. The basic doctor consultation can cost $42.

The weekly number of cases have reduced compared to the previous report where the cases were 26. From September 1-8, there have been 22 cases and the most prone age group to dengue by far has been 10-19 years old with about 160 cases.

There have been 423 cases in Koror making it the most affected state, there have been 82 cases in Ngerchemai making it the most affected hamlet. However, since the start of September Ngerchemai has not had a single dengue case.

From September 1 to 8, Madalaii has had 4 cases and 54 in total since the outbreak.

Iyebulkel, Ngerkebesang and Dngeronger have had 2 cases with a total of 30, 20 and 13 cases. Meyuns, Meketii and Ikelau have had 1 case with a total of 22, 21 and 7 cases.

The MOH report states that there was a slight decrease in the number of cases reported in August (127) compared to July (141). The report notes that even though the majority of cases were residents of Koror state, there were a considerable number of cases from outlying states including Airai, Melekeok, Ngatpang and Ngaraard.

The Ministry of Health Dengue Response Team is focusing its efforts on increasing community participation in clean-up activities through partnership with state governments and other community organizations.

Various activities during September, Palau’s National Preparedness Month aim at promoting dengue awareness and prevention including the preparedness parade and fair, roadside campaign, school outreach and state visits.

The Communicable Disease Unit and the DEH Vector Control Program continue to investigate all reported cases of dengue fever and implement vector control measures.

The MOH has suggested 3S for dengue prevention; Search and eliminate mosquito breeding sites. Self-protect by wearing insect repellent and ensuring a mosquito-free environment. Seek early consultation if there are severe signs or symptoms of dengue. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)