HEALTH ADVISORY on COVID-19
Message from the FSM Secretary of Health and Social Affairs
On March 15, 2020, Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero announced that 3 individuals on Guam were tested positive for COVID-19. One confirmed case had no travel history. Two of the confirmed cases flew in from Manila, Philippines on a United Airline flight on the morning of March 02, 2020. If you were on this flight and have developed any symptoms of Cough, Fever and Difficulty Breathing stay home and call your local Health Department [Chuuk: 330-2214; Kosrae: 370-3012; Yap: 350-2110; Pohnpei: 320-3107; FSM: 320-2619].
As of March 18, 2020, there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
However, there are currently three PUIs (person under investigation) in FSM (1 in Pohnpei and 2 in Yap). All three PUIs have been isolated and currently being treated for their symptoms. Specimen from the PUI in Pohnpei was being prepared for shipment yesterday (3/17/20) to the Guam Public Health Laboratory for confirmatory testing. Specimens from the 2 PUIs in Yap will be shipped to Guam early Wednesday morning. The FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs, in close collaboration with Yap and Pohnpei Department of Health Services, will keep the general public informed on the status of the 3 PUIs as well as when any future PUIs are detected and reported.
In response to the 3 confirmed cases on Guam and the 3 PUIs in FSM, we are enhancing surveillance at our airports, seaports, healthcare facilities and in our communities. The FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs is working closely with all States Department of Health Services, private hospital and clinics to be ready to detect and respond if additional PUIs are identified. As part of our preparedness and readiness efforts for COVID-19, and with support of the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our development Partners we are enhancing our capacities for surveillance and early detection, quarantine, isolation, infection control, case management, contact tracing, lab testing, and risk communication. At the same time, we are finalizing our respective contingency plans for effective and coordinated response for COVID-19 across the FSM States.
Through our National and States COVID-19 Taskforces, we are also working closely with our communities to help prevent the importation and spread of COVID-19 in FSM. We will continue to work closely with WHO, CDC, Partners and other countries in the region to share information and advice as part of our comprehensive response in FSM and across the region.
While COVID-19 is circulating in our region, the public is requested to remain calm, stay alert for signs and symptoms, continue practising good hand and cough hygiene, and avoid large crowds, social gatherings, and meetings to help protect ourselves and our families from COVID-19 and prevent its spread to others.
Advice to the Public
COVID-19 is caused by a novel (new) Coronavirus that causes a flu-like illness. The virus spreads primarily from person to person through close contact, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes and their respiratory droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. A person may also be infected if he/she touch a surface or an object (like a door handle or table) that has the virus on it and then touch their mouth, eyes or face. Generally, the virus is only spread when a person is in close contact with a sick person, for example living in the same household or workplace.
Common signs and symptoms of COVID-19:
- shortness of breath / breathing difficulties
The FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs will continue to keep the public informed of any new developments on COVID-19 in the Federated States of Micronesia and the region. For more information, please call (691) 320-2619.