Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 07 Dec 2019 12am







    Saturday, December 7, 2019-12:15:53A.M.






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Governor issues directive on dengue prevention and control

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Wednesday issued a directive instructing all CNMI agencies “to mobilize…available resources” and work with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and federal partners to prevent an outbreak of the dengue virus in the islands.

He noted that there have been multiple outbreaks of dengue throughout the Pacific region, including Guam, the Philippines, Palau, Yap, and the Marshall Islands.

In the Commonwealth, the governor said, “There have only been two imported cases of confirmed dengue, meaning two CNMI residents who traveled to an area of outbreak got infected, and became symptomatic upon their return to the [islands].”

But there are “zero cases of locally acquired dengue in the Commonwealth,” the governor added.

He said, “While we continue to persist in our recovery efforts CNMI-wide a little over a year since Super Typhoon Yutu rampaged through our island chain…many of our residents remain living in tents, and typhoon-related debris continue to fill our villages. These settings can harbor standing water and hold great potential to lead to the proliferation of mosquitoes and the transmission of the dengue virus from person to person.”

He added, “As we have learned through the two confirmed imported cases, our remoteness from the U.S. mainland makes medical management of severe dengue especially challenging. Therefore, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and I strongly support the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. [multipronged] approach at preventing returning travelers from transmitting the virus in the CNMI and protecting those residents living in congregated areas, and who are most at risk and lacking the means to protect themselves and their families.”

The governor also expressed support for CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther L. Muna’s recommendation that “all related discussions and endeavors be focused on the [multipronged] approach of 1) bite prevention for both returning travelers and those living in congregated locations such as families living in tents, 2) mosquito control through village cleanups, and 3) ensuring the availability of adequate supplies of larvicides and insecticides Commonwealth-wide in preparation of the need to broaden our efforts to spraying.”