FSM’s Yap plans to prevent Dengue type 3 from landing

Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is taking preventive measures to avert the spread of Dengue Serotype 3 from neighbouring Palau.

Palau’s type 3 outbreak began in December last year and there are now 50 confirmed cases.

Yap’s chief of public health said while around 70 percent of the state population had been exposed to types 1, 2 and 4 along with Chikungunya and Zika there had been no exposure to Dengue type 3.

Celine Tacheliol said this meant its people had no resistance to it.

However Ms Tacheliol said locals were well practised in prevention measures when it came to the mosquito-borne disease.

She said the risk from Dengue type 3 came from infected travellers entering the country on the weekly flight from Palau.

“So we’ve linked up with them so that we can get information such as how many passengers are coming to Yap and so from there we try to get them a care package.”

Ms Tacheliol said this included mosquito coils and advice on how to prevent the spread of Dengue.

She said they encouraged travellers from Palau to restrict their exposure to mosquitoes for a week.

Dengue is a viral disease that could cause severe chills and fever coupled with head, body and joint aches.

Ms Tacheliol said Yap authorities also had a clean-up campaign under way to eradicate potential mosquito breeding grounds.

“Clearing the brush fifty feet away from your homes. Anything that can contain water, even the cap of a water bottle,” she said.

“We’re trying to educate people on how long the eggs can live without water. Once they’re laid they can go up to a year in hibernation until the water level comes up to where the eggs are at,” said Ms Tacheliol.

Meanwhile in Palau instances of serotype 3 are centred around the commercial hub of Koror where 35 cases account for 73 percent of the outbreak.

Health authorities are focused on interventions including clean-up campaigns and education in schools on preventive measures.

The health ministry has a weekly radio show to update people on progress.

Authorities in Palau said people were also well versed in protocols following the Dengue serotype 2 outbreak at the beginning of 2018.

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