East Hawaii News

Five ‘Potentially Infectious’ in Big Island Dengue Outbreak

January 27, 2016, 3:48 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. 27. 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. 27. DOH image.

Four new cases of dengue fever were confirmed on the Big Island between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.

In addition, the Hawai’i Department of Health is now listing five cases as “potentially infectious.” Those cases are within individuals who have an onset of illness date listed between Jan. 17 and Jan. 21.

Confirmed cases of the virus have reached 241 people in the outbreak. This includes the total number of cases since the initial case reported on Sept. 11.

A total of 217 cases have been within Big Island residents, while another 24, including one that was confirmed Wednesday, involved Big Island visitors. One additional case has also been reported in individuals under the age of 18, reaching a total of 45.

DOH released new map images on Wednesday, listing the only area on the island at “high risk” on the West portion of the island, including Kailua-Kona and Captain Cook.

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Last week, DOH was only listing Captain-Cook as an area of “high risk,” with Kailua-Kona, Milolii, and Pahoa listed as “some risk.”

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

A community meeting regarding the outbreak is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 4 at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park’s Amphitheater.

The community update will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and include presentations by the Office of Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi, Hawai’i County Civil Defense, Hawai’i Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Geological Survey, and National Park Service.

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Community meetings are being held through the month of February 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.

Civil Defense suggests the following to aid in reducing potential mosquito breeding areas around homes and businesses:

  • Remove or eliminate standing water that provides sources for mosquito breeding such as buckets or puddles.
  • Fix leaky faucets and outdoor hoses that are dripping water.
  • Treat bromeliads and other plants that hold water with a larvacide or chlorine bleach solution.
  • Clean gutters to allow water to drain freely.
  • Repair screens and windows to help keep mosquitoes out.
  • Dispose of old tires at no charge at county transfer stations islandwide.

Mosquito concerns should be reported to 974-6010 in East Hawai‘i or 322-1513 in West Hawai‘i.

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