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    Tuesday, September 17, 2019-6:57:34P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Regional News

Yap state battles health crisis

COLONIA, Yap (Yap State Government) — In response to the recent Yap state health crisis, the Gov. Henry Falan has activated the Health Crisis Taskforce to oversee and monitor the situation on the ground.

The taskforce is faced with many challenges including an overwhelmed health workforce, a shortage of medical supplies yet to arrive, and a recent re-emergence of hand-food-and-mouth disease and spreading fast.

This is a crisis that shows a major risk to the health and wellbeing of people of Yap. However, there are steps that we can take as individuals, families and communities to reduce the spread of infection and ensure that we remain safe until the number of cases reduces

With the cases of dengue type-3, leptospirosis and hand-foot-and-mouth disease increasing, the task force has released a travel advisory statement, asking all citizens and residents to restrict all non-essential travel until Oct. 4, 2019, to help reduce the spread of infection during this crisis. This includes travel between atoll islands.

All residents who travel between islands in Yap state will be screened by the Department of Health Services before traveling and then quarantined for two weeks at their destination.

The task force has also advised closing all public schools from Sept. 3 to Oct. 4, 2019. The following private schools will also be closed: Seventh-Day Adventist School, Faith Christian Academy and Yap International School will remain closed until Oct. 4 Yap Catholic High School and St. Mary’s School will be closed until Friday, Sept. 13.

Along with the closure of schools, the taskforce is advising all citizens and residents of Yap state to avoid mass gatherings and take precautionary measures. The taskforce recommends that planned mass gatherings be halted over the month-long period to contain the spread of infection.

Each resident should clean around the community to limit areas where mosquitos can breed. Use repellent and mosquito coils, especially during dawn and dusk and use mosquito nets while sleeping. Avoiding contact with stagnant water and mud, cover any cuts or wounds with waterproof dressings when working in the taro patch, avoid contact with animals such as pigs, rats, dogs and cats, and report to the nearest health center or the hospital if you experience symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, chills, rashes or any other sickness symptoms.

Recently, the taskforce has released two situation reports, one for a dengue outbreak and the other for leptospirosis outbreak.

For dengue, there were 406 suspects screened from Jan. 1 to Aug. 25, 2019. The report also shows that dengue is affecting mostly the younger populous ages ranging from 1 to 19 years old. Dengue symptoms are usually an acute fever illness of at least three days with two or more of the following: headache; pain in or behind the eyes; muscle aches; joint aches; rash; low white blood cell count; or evidence of bleeding.

For leptospirosis, it’s affecting both the younger and elderly populous in the state. The report also shows that the symptoms are usually of acute fever illness with headache and muscle aches, associated with swelling or blood in the white of the eyes; no urine or very little urine-making; jaundice; cough, coughing up blood and breathlessness; bleeding; severe headache; irregular heart beat or heart failure; and skin rash.

Currently the taskforce is doing public awareness announcements, planning an island-wide community clean up and working with International partners to coordinate its efforts in the fight against this crisis.

The task force urges all in Yap state to stay tuned for more announcements on travel, community cleanups and other measures to be taken by Yap State Government to stop the spread of infection. Your patience, understanding and support regarding this urgent matter is greatly appreciated. We all have a role in protecting each other from infection.

For more information, contact Ceiline Techeliol at 691-350-2113.