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Pinkeye, diarrhea, head lice cases hit shelters

The Disaster Medical Assistance Team and Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation-Public Health found several cases of pinkeye, diarrhea and head-lice infestation in 13 shelters they visited and assessed.

Public Health Medical Director Dr. Phuong Luu, said these ailments are mainly related to hygiene.

“We treated them right away so there is no risk that communicable diseases could actually spread,” she added.

In a press conference at the Systems of Care building in San Antonio, Dr. Luu said they conducted a medical outreach in all 13 shelters last week.

“Every single day, with the surveillance team, we watch out for all communicable diseases and all types of outbreaks. A team led by Dr. Paul White [CHCC’s epidemiologist] goes out to the community and ask surveillance questions,” she added.

Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres poses with CHCC CEO Esther Muna, Disaster Medical Assistance Team members, and CHCC nurses and doctors. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres poses with CHCC CEO Esther Muna, Disaster Medical Assistance Team members, and CHCC nurses and doctors. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

She said whenever there are reported diseases, such as diarrhea, they make sure that the patient is treated right away. “We send one or two doctors to investigate and treat them and bring medicine to them so they don’t have to go to the clinic.”

She added, “On a daily basis we are addressing any possible outbreak. We are very aggressive with that. We have a rapid response team that goes to the villages: at Dandan Middle School, Chalan Kanoa Youth Center, Marianas Business Plaza, Joeten Dandan parking lot, Koblerville soccer field.”

At the press conference, Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres thanked the doctors and nurses of CHCC and the Disaster Medical Assistance Team who are at the forefront of Yutu recovery.

CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna also thanked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its partnership with CHCC and the Saipan and Tinian communities on typhoon-recovery efforts.

She said volunteers of Americares, a non-profit disaster relief and global health organization, will also provide healthcare services on island. “This is to make sure everyone is getting the services they need.”

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/108674-pinkeye-diarrhea-head-lice-cases-hit-shelters

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