Dengue Fever outbreak continue unabated a year after it was first announced. Dengue Fever Outbreak status refers to ten or more cases identified in a month period. So far this month alone, from December 1, 2019 to December 15, total of 28 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed. In a year period from December 1, 2018 to December 2019, total of 737 cases of dengue fever were recorded in Palau.
Due to introduction of Dengue serotype-3 in December of 2018, many of those that were infected during the 2017 dengue outbreak by dengue serotype 2 were again infected by dengue serotype-3.
In a previous interview, Minister of Health Dr. Emais Roberts revealed that the continued increase in dengue cases was due partly to the fact that people who were previously infected by dengue serotype-2 did not have immunity to the new dengue serotype-3 and were getting infected again by the new dengue serotype-3.
In September 2019, 2 visitors to Palau were identified to have dengue serotype-1, a dengue serotype that Palau did not have before. So far no local cases of dengue serotype-1 have been confirmed other than the two visitors in September who, they believed, acquired the dengue fever in their homeland of Thailand before arriving in Palau.
Ministry of Health urges the community seek early medical attention if signs of illness are detected. It also urges the public to search and eliminate potential breeding sites of mosquitos in and around their homes and to take all precautions to protect themselves from getting bitten.
There is no cure for dengue virus and those most vulnerable are people with pre-existing medical conditions, elderly and children. (L.N. Reklai)