East Hawaii News

Dengue: No New Cases, Three Infectious

January 28, 2016, 3:10 PM HST
* Updated January 28, 3:41 PM
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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.

No new cases of dengue fever were reported on the Big Island on Thursday.

The Hawai’i Department of Health lists three of the 241 total confirmed cases as “potentially infectious.” On Wednesday, the reported number of “potentially infectious” individuals was listed at five.

Individuals listed as “potentially infectious” are the only known cases that are at risk of spreading the dengue disease. The 238 additional cases have surpassed their infectious state.

A total of 1,018 individuals have been excluded from the overall count. This is an increase of 10 cases since Wednesday afternoon.

Those excluded from the count have had test results come back negative and/or do not meet dengue case criteria.

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DOH Vector Control, along with Hawai’i County staff, have completed a total of 640 mosquito abatement sprayings since the beginning of the outbreak.

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Last Saturday, crews reportedly hiked into Waipi’o Valley carrying heavy equipment and sprayed and treated 17 sites. Following the spraying, residents reported a reduction in mosquito activity, according to county officials.

Four county parks will temporarily close on Friday to treat mosquitoes that have the potential to spread dengue fever.

Kailua Playground, Kipapa Park, located on the mauka side of Ali’i Drive across from La’aloa Bay Beach Park, Harold H. Higashihara Park, and Arthur C. Greenwell Park, including Sergeant Rodney J. Yano Memorial Hall, will close for the day beginning at about 7 a.m., weather permitting.

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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.

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.

Hawai’i County 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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