East Hawaii News

Big Island Dengue: One More Case Added, Three Infectious

February 4, 2016, 2:51 PM HST
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An Aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured here. The mosquito is one of two in Hawai'i known to spread the dengue virus. Hawai'i Department of Health photo.

An Aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured here. The mosquito is one of two in Hawai’i known to spread the dengue virus. Hawai’i Department of Health photo.

One additional case of dengue fever has been confirmed on the Big Island.

Hawai’i Department of Health officials said Thursday that the total number of individuals infected with dengue since the first reported case in the outbreak in September is 249.

Three cases remain “potentially infectious,” the same number of individuals reported since Tuesday, with onset of illness between Jan. 23 and Jan. 28.

A total of 1,100 cases have been excluded from the overall dengue count, an increase of 13 cases since Wednesday. Excluded cases include individuals who have tested negative for dengue and/or who do not meet case criteria.

So far the outbreak has infected 225 Big Island residents and 24 visitors.

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DOH will conduct proactive spraying at Kealakehe Elementary School on Saturday. Earlier this week, it was announced that Kealakehe Intermediate School would also undergo spraying operations on the same day, however, that spraying has been cancelled as result of a potential dengue case near the school being deemed “negative.”

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A public meeting will be held in West Hawai’i Thursday night regarding the outbreak. The meeting will take place at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park’s Amphitheater beginning at 6 p.m. 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 will take place.

In addition, 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.

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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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