FSM Information Services
Suspected Though Unconfirmed COVID-19 Case in Pohnpei State; Further Investigations Underway; Get Vaccinated
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—As of December 18th, 2021, there is a suspected though unconfirmed case of COVID-19 in Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
From the week of December 6th to December 12th, 2021, an unusual spike in influenza-like illnesses triggered the medical and public health teams to expand their surveillance efforts, which lead to a 19-year-old male testing positive for COVID-19 on December 15th, 2021. A subsequent test, however, which occurred on December 16th, 2021, was negative; this latter information is consistent with a historical, recovered, and non-infectious case.
Though this specific case appeared non-infectious, the person under investigation (PUI) is being monitored. The PUI does not have any known recent travel history i.e. is not a repatriated person, and so while this may not be an active COVID-19 case, further investigation is both necessary and ongoing. As of this release, it is unknown whether this was simply a false positive (which is not impossible), or if it could mean community spread of COVID-19.
The PUI and his close contacts are presently in home quarantine. Contact tracing and testing is being expanded throughout Pohnpei State and the rest of the FSM. The persons at the PUI’s workplace are also undergoing testing, which remains ongoing at the time of this release.
The Government appreciates the PUI’s forthrightness in coming forward, as such an action demonstrates a personal commitment to socially responsible behavior. It is this level of individual responsibility that will help to prevent the spread of disease, including COVID-19.
In the context of Pohnpei State, COVID-19 testing is available at Pohnpei State Hospital. If you or someone in your family is feeling sick, please put on a mask, seek medical care, and get tested. COVID-19 symptoms may include: fever, cough, stuffy nose, headache, sore throat, loss of taste, loss of smell, difficulty breathing, diarrhea and/or body aches. The responsible behavior for persons presently afflicted with influenza-like illness is to seek a COVID-19 test as soon as possible.
Anyone eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, who is not yet fully vaccinated, should go for their shot as soon as possible. If your initial COVID vaccination was more than 6 months ago (or 2 months for Johnson & Johnson), get your booster dose.
The public is reminded that the COVID-19 Delta variant circulating globally is very dangerous and causing a surge in hospitalizations and deaths in many countries. Omicron, a new variant of concern, has now been reported in least 80 countries, and is spreading quickly. There is much we still do not know about this new variant, but we must be prepared for the possibility that it could come to our shores. We will be expanding COVID-19 testing in all States, and we ask all FSM citizens and residents to take preventive measures to avoid transmission.
The Government urges every member of the public to do their part. Get vaccinated. Practice hygienic measures such as washing your hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, and wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms. Stay at home if you feel sick and seek medical care. Avoid crowds, closed spaces, and unnecessary contact with those outside of your family. Good hygiene practices not only protect against potential COVID-19 infection, but also from other viruses that are currently circulating in the FSM.
The FSM National and Pohnpei State Governments will continue to keep the public informed. We ask the public to continue to monitor the FSM and Pohnpei State Department websites and social media pages for accurate information on this situation. Other credible sources of information on COVID-19 include:
- CDC website:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
- WHO website:https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
For general information about COVID-19, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 320-3109, or the Emergency Department at (691) 320-2213.