The Palau Ministry of Health reported an additional eight dengue fever cases last week, bringing the outbreak total to 164 cases. There have been no reported deaths attributed to dengue infection during this outbreak.

Aedes aegypti mosquito feeding on a human host/CDC

Last December, health officials alerted the public of an outbreak of dengue fever following the first ever laboratory confirmation of two cases with dengue serotype-3.

This poses a significant concern for public health as the whole population is potentially vulnerable to infection.

An emergency response team was activated to combat the outbreak. Raising community awareness of the outbreak and dengue prevention measures, conducting disease surveillance and reporting, strengthening mosquito control measures, and ensuring adequate resources are available to combat the outbreak were some of their tasks.

Dengue infects nearly 400 million people across more than 120 countries each year. Most survive with few or no symptoms, but more than two million annually develop what can be a dangerous dengue hemorrhagic fever, which kills more than 25,000 people each year.

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Dengue viruses are arboviruses (arthropod-borne virus) that are transmitted primarily to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.