East Hawaii News

Oliveira: Dengue Fever Outbreak Remains ‘Active’

December 16, 2015, 5:00 PM HST
* Updated December 16, 5:21 PM
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Hawai’i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira is reminding the community that even though confirmed cases of dengue fever are rising by small amounts each week, the threat of the virus reaching the public is ongoing.

“We’re asking the community rather than to get fixed on the numbers, is to still consider that we have an active outbreak,” Oliveira said to Big Island Now on Wednesday. “There are cases being reported with the recent onset of illness earlier this month, so we do have people out in the community who are infectious.”

The Hawai’i Department of Health revised its tally of the dengue fever outbreak, separating cases by individuals who are currently infected and those who previously were ill. As of Wednesday afternoon, seven people are being described as “potentially infectious,” with an illness onset ranging from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9. DOH officials said that other cases may potentially exist in the community, but either have not been confirmed or reported to health officials.

A total of 150 cases are no longer considered infectious, with the illness onset dated between Sept. 11 and Dec. 5.

Of the 157 total dengue cases reported, 140 involve Big Island residents. Thirty-four of the cases were found in individuals under the age of 18.

The Department of Health issued an update on Wednesday to its "risk area" map, which shows areas with high, moderate, or some risk of catching dengue fever. DOH image.

The Department of Health issued an update on Wednesday to its “risk area” map, which shows areas with high, moderate, or some risk of catching dengue fever. DOH image.

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DOH updated its map showing potential risk areas around the island for the virus. The only “high risk” area, marked in red, remains near Captain Cook. Moderate risk areas include a large section of Kailua-Kona and small sections of Milolii and Pahoa.

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There are a number of small risk spots identified by DOH around the island, including Hilo, Mountain View, sections of the Puna district, Ocean View, Kalaoa, and scattered portions of West Hawai’i.

Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, joint or muscle pain, headache or pain behind the eyes, and rash.

Those interested in obtaining general information about the current Big Island dengue fever investigation should call 2-1-1 and talk with Aloha United Way.

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Anyone who thinks they may have contracted dengue fever on the Big Island should call 933-0912 if they are 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.

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