East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Waipio Valley Road Closed as ‘Precaution’

January 13, 2016, 1:44 PM HST
* Updated January 14, 3:05 PM
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***Updated at 3:15 p.m. to include information from Hawai’i County Civil Defense.***

Hawai’i County Civil Defense reports that the Waipio Valley Access Road was closed, as of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, as a precaution in the dengue fever outbreak.

Access to the valley is limited to residents only. The area will remain under restricted access until further notice.

***Original story posted at 1:44 p.m.***

Confirmed cases of dengue fever on the Big Island reached a total of 215 on Wednesday. The increase of three cases over the past 24 hours comes on a day that Hawai’i Department of Health officials announced weekly community meetings to inform and educate communities on the outbreak and prevention methods.

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Since the outbreak began in late October, 195 Big Island residents have been infected with the mosquito transmitted disease. An additional 20 visitors to the island have also contracted the dengue virus.

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As of Wednesday afternoon, officials say that just two individuals are currently infectious. The number only includes those who are currently confirmed to have the disease.

Negative case findings grew by ten over the past day, bringing the number of cases excluded from the confirmed count to 884.

DOH released a new map, showing areas of concern similar to previously released images. The Captain Cook area of West Hawai’i remains the area of the island with the “highest” risk in contracting the disease, while Kailua-Kona and the Pahoa area of Puna remain the only two areas at a “moderate” risk level. Areas deemed to be of “some risk,” highlighted on the map in yellow, are spread throughout the island.

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Community meetings will be held in both Hilo and Kona on a weekly basis through February.

Hilo sessions will take place on Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. at the State Office Building, located on Aupuni Street. Kona sessions will be held at the same time but at the West Hawai’i Civic Center, Mayor’s Conference Room.

Beginning on Jan. 19, weekly sessions will also be held at Yano Hall in Captain Cook on Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m.

The community meetings will provide updates and answers to questions from the community about the dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island, as well as education about the prevalence, transmission, and symptoms of dengue fever, along with outbreak response efforts, how to interpret case counts and maps, and the best ways to “Fight the Bite.”

In addition, a community meeting has been scheduled for the Miloli’i community. The meeting will be held on Jan. 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Miloli’i Beach Park pavilion. Various departments will be present to discuss the current outbreak and measures to “Fight the Bite.”

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.

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 concerned 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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