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Protecting Your Family From Dengue Fever

Protecting Your Family From Dengue Fever

By Lee S. Yudin, Ph.D.

Pacific Daily News

August 29, 1998

Dengue fever, a tropical, mosquito-borne disease has seen a surprise rise in recent months.

To date, there have been four reported cases of Dengue fever on the island, and all four individuals contracted the virus outside of Guam. Nonetheless, the potential threat of Dengue fever can not be underestimated. Many neighboring countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Palau, are reporting moderate to high incidence of this disease. As homeowners, we can play an important role in helping reduce potential breeding sites of the day-biting mosquito that is responsible for transmitting this virus.

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, which are found primarily in urban areas. The Dengue viruses (serotypes called DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4) occur in most of tropical Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean Islands, Central and South America, and Africa. Dengue viruses are transmitted in nature by day-biting Aedes mosquitoes. The most important mosquito vector is the highly domesticated and urban species, Aedes aegypti. Aedes aegypti has not been recorded on Guam since the early 1940s, but the secondary mosquito carrier, Aedes albopictus, is common on Guam and may have replaced Aedes aegypti on Guam.

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