East Hawaii News

Dengue: Three Newly Reported ‘Potentially Infectious’ Individuals

January 21, 2016, 1:50 PM HST
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The Hawai'i Department of Health updated its map of potential areas of dengue fever infection, based on confirmed case information as of Wednesday, Jan. 20. DOH image.

The Hawai’i Department of Health updated its map of potential areas of dengue fever infection, based on confirmed case information, as of Wednesday, Jan. 20. DOH image.

Six new cases of dengue fever have been confirmed over the past day, including three “potentially infectious” individuals.

Thursday’s count of confirmed dengue cases was reported to be 230. DOH officials said Thursday that the three “potentially infectious” individuals have an onset of illness date between Jan. 11 and Jan. 16.

An entomology team from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dengue Branch of the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases is back on the island, according to County of Hawai’i officals. The team will continue its consultation and mosquito surveillance work with DOH on mosquitoes.

Historic and current data will be used by the CDC team to map, trap, and identify mosquitoes that may be carrying the dengue virus.

In addition, the County reports that DOH is seeking additional entomology and vector control support on the Big Island to assist local resources.

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Since the beginning of the outbreak, 578 mosquito abatement sprayings have taken place by DOH and County staff.

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Springstar, Inc. donated 3,000 mosquito traps to the county. Those traps have been placed in areas of concern, including Miloli’i, according to county officials.

A total of 208 Big Island residents have been infected by the disease, while another 22 of the cases have involved visitors to the island.

Of the total 230 individuals infected with the disease since it reportedly began to spread in September, 227 are no longer at risk of spreading the disease.

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Twenty-four more cases have been excluded from the overall dengue case count in the past day, bringing the total number of cases that have either had tests come back negative or not meet dengue case criteria to 962.

The access road to Waipio Valley, as well as Milolii and Hookena Beach Park, remain closed.

The Hamakua-Kohala Health Center will host a meeting with the DOH and Civil Defense for the Honokaa community on Friday, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. at the North Hawai’i Education and Research Center.

Community meetings also continue to be held on a weekly basis in both East and West Hawai’i.

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

Tuesday sessions are being held at Yano Hall in Captain Cook, beginning at 12:30 p.m.

The community meetings 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.”

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.

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