DENGUE ‘NO REAL CONCERN FOR TOURISTS,’ SAYS TOP PALAU HEALTH OFFICIAL

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DENGUE ‘NO REAL CONCERN FOR TOURISTS,’ SAYS TOP PALAU HEALTH OFFICIAL

By Adrienne Loerzel

KOROR, Palau (December 6, 2000 – Pacific Daily News)---Tourists who visit Palau should not worry about catching dengue fever, the island nation’s chief public health officer said.

"The tourists might be concerned, but there is really no real concern for tourists," said Dr. Caleb Otto, chief public health officer. "I think there’s no real risk to tourists."

Palau has had 28 confirmed cases of mosquito-borne dengue fever since June, according to public health statistics. While 21 cases of the disease occurred between September and early December, the public health agency said cases seem to be dropping.

Otto said hotels and other firms catering to tourists are careful to take precautions to prevent the spread of dengue fever.

"The hotels are very careful about making sure there are no mosquitoes," he said.

Otto encouraged visitors to use mosquito coils or an insect repellent if they are concerned about the disease.

"If you think there might be mosquitoes, use mosquito coils or repellent -- just take precautions. It doesn’t hurt you to do that, and we can’t do enough of that," he said.

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