East Hawaii News

DOH Advises Public in Dengue Fever Prevention

November 6, 2015, 6:38 PM HST
* Updated November 6, 8:20 PM
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As four new confirmed cases of dengue fever have been reported on the Big Island Friday, the Hawai’i Department of Health is advising the public, not only on the Big Island but throughout the state, to take measures to ensure protection against dengue fever.

A total of 23 cases of locally transmitted dengue have been contracted on the Big Island. Of those 23, DOH reports that all have either recovered or are currently recovering.

Confirmed dengue fever cases have been isolated to the Big Island, however, DOH is investigating a potential case on Oahu. DOH officials say the individual has not traveled to the Big Island, and if confirmed, is likely to have contracted the disease while abroad.

“The State of Hawai’i is working collaboratively with the counties of Hawai’i to ensure that the public has as much information as possible through multiple communications channels, including our website, social media, community meetings and more,” said Virginia Pressler, M.D., director of the Hawai’i Department of Health. “We acknowledge and share the concerns of the community and are employing the necessary resources to effectively and quickly prevent the spread of this disease.”

Mosquito contact is the culprit of the disease’s transmission. Mosquitoes that carry the disease from an infected individual can carry it to other individuals through mosquito bites.

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Among DOH’s recommendations is the application of mosquito repellent with 20 to 30 percent DEET. Individuals should also wear long pants, use indoor insecticides, and reduce the amount of mosquitoes on their property by clearing areas with standing water.

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Those who have contracted dengue fever will generally have symptoms begin to be apparent within a week from being bitten by an infected mosquito and may experience fever, joint or muscle pains, headache or pain behind the eyes, and rash.

“As dengue fever is an illness that can be transmitted by virus-carrying mosquitoes, we are strongly encouraging the public to join us in taking immediate preventative measures to minimize its reach,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “Individuals who have experienced symptoms related to the fever should contact their healthcare provider immediately and avoid further exposure to mosquitoes.”

Those interested in learning more about mosquito control should review the DOH mosquito reduction flier.

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More information on dengue fever can also be found on the DOH website.

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