Big Island Dengue Case Count Reaches 88
Another nine dengue fever cases have been listed by the Hawai’i Department of Health as confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to 88 since the first reported onset of illness on Sept. 11.
Seventy-five of the individuals impacted by dengue have been Big Island residents, while the other 13 were visitors.
The most recently confirmed case of dengue has an onset date of Saturday, Nov. 15.
A total of 67 of the cases have been in adults, while 21 have been confirmed in children identified as individuals under the age of 18.
Dr. Chris Whelen, chief of the State Laboratories Division said Thursday that the ability to test specimens in-state, which began on Nov. 2, has assisted in the speeding up of the case confirmation process.
Results from the test generally take two to three days and patients worried that they may have been infected could have results from their doctor in about a week’s time.
Since the testing began in early November, the state has tested over 200 specimens, with a daily capacity testing of 50 to 60 specimens. The test capacity is able to be lifted, should it become necessary, according to Dr. Whelen.
As of Friday, 131 reported potential cases of dengue have come up dengue-free, based on test results and failure to meet case criteria.
Spraying activities have continued throughout the week in areas across the island.
DOH and County of Hawai’i officials will work together with the Department of Education over the weekend to conduct preventative spraying or treating of various East and West Hawai’i campuses.
Konawaena High, Konawaena Middle, Konawaena Elementary, Honaunau Elementary, Hookena Elementary, Hilo High School, Hilo Intermediate School, and Waiakea Intermediate and Waiakea Elementary Schools will all undergo the treatment as a preventative measure and as a result of proximity to confirmed cases.
Dengue fever is not trasmitted from person-to-person and can only occurr when an individual has been bitten by a mosquito that bit an infected individual.
DOH officials released a new map Wednesday highlighting areas around the island and their level of potential risk. The map will be updated and re-released as case information is collected and analyzed.
The map provides members of the public a clearer understanding of areas that those infected with dengue fever may have contracted the disease, but also areas that are deemed higher potential for contraction, due to various factors, including high mosquito activity.
Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, joint or muscle paints, headache or pain behind the eyes, and rash.
Those interesting in obtaining general information about the current Big Island dengue investigation should call 2-1-1 and talk with Aloha United Way.
Anyone who thinks they may have contracted dengue fever on the Big Island should call 933-0912 if they’re located in East Hawai’i or 322-4877 in West Hawai’i. If an individual is currently ill and worried that they may have contracted dengue fever, they should contact their primary care physician.
Mosquito concerns should be reported to 974-6010 in East Hawai’i or 322-1513 in West Hawai’i.
For more information, visit the DOH website.