By: L.N. Reklai
May 4, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Two people have died this past month from dengue related causes according to Minister of Health Dr. Emais Roberts.
Since the outbreak of Dengue Fever was announced in October of last year, a total of 150 persons have been reported to have been infected by the Dengue virus. Of those infected, most are between ages of 10 to 19 and 20 to 29. Approximately 60% of those infected fall between these age groups.
“People with pre-existing diseases such as liver diseases are at greater risk when they get dengue virus. Dengue virus reduces body’s white blood cells weakening person’s ability to fight infection. It also reduces platelets in the body which can cause people to bleed inside,” stated Dr. Roberts. “So this makes a person who is already sick from other illness too weak to fight dengue virus infection.”
There is no cure or vaccine for Dengue virus, according to Ministry of Health and the prevention is the only way to stop the spread of the virus.
Ministry of Health Public Health Services is conducting an aggressive public education campaign on Dengue virus. It is going to media outlets and to every hamlet of Koror State as well as other States holding townhall meetings educating the public about dengue fever and prevention measures to reduce chances of infection.
MOH report shows that 75% of the cases are from Koror, with most coming from hamlets of Ngermid, Ngerchemai, Meyuns and Ngerkebesang.
With school about to let out in May, Ministry of Health is aware of the potential for spreading of the disease. Given that most of those infected are between ages of 10 to 29, the chances of those in Koror transferring to other hamlets or other states are high and MOH seeks to reach as many as possible with the information before the summer begins.
Prevention being the only solution, Public Health urges people to clean around their homes and remove any potential breeding grounds. It also urges individuals to take precautionary measures by wearing long sleeves, long pants and using bug repellents. They also encourage people to keep in doors as much as possible during dawn and dusk when the mosquito carrying this disease is most active. [/restrict]