Intermittent rain rings in New Year 2019 and with it the growing dengue fever epidemic.  Ministry of Health confirmed this week 35 dengue cases received in December, with 2 now in critical condition.  It also confirmed one new case admitted on January 1st.

Early December of 2018, more than 10 cases of confirmed dengue cases were received at the national hospital triggering the “Dengue Outbreak” notice to the public.  Public was also notified of the presence of the new dengue strain that was not present in Palau before, so-called dengue-3 or serotype 3 dengue.

Ministry of Health continues to urge the public to take the necessary precautions to reduce the possibility of getting infected by dengue borne mosquitos by keeping areas around clean, wearing protective clothing and using mosquito repellents and getting checked as soon as possible if one starts feeling sick.

Dengue fever outbreak of 2016-17, saw 490 people contracting the diseases with two people with pre-existing conditions dying as result of dengue infection.

“Dengue is endemic to Palau and when we have constant rains like this, it raises the likelihood of the dengue coming back.  The danger is increased now due to the introduction of the serotype-3 dengue that can infect people who have had the other types of dengue before,” reported Minister of Health Dr. Emais Roberts.

Those most vulnerable to dengue are children, elderlies and people that have pre-existing conditions or are already ill or sick from other conditions. (L.N. Reklai)