East Hawaii News

Dengue: One Case Confirmed, One ‘Potentially Infectious’

February 9, 2016, 1:43 PM HST
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One new dengue case has been confirmed by the Hawai’i Department of Health, as of Tuesday afternoon. In addition to the confirmed cases, DOH is listing one individual with an onset of illness on Feb. 1 as “potentially infectious.”

On Monday, Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi declared a State of Emergency for the County of Hawai’i as the dengue virus continues to spread.

Over the past week, six cases have been added to the count and the number of individuals listed as “potentially infectious” has ranged from three to just one.

In total, 252 cases of dengue fever have occurred on the Big Island. A total of 251 of those cases are no longer infectious.

The majority of the cases have been within individuals who are residents of the Big Island, with 24 visitors also infected.

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Since the outbreak began, 1,143 potential cases have been excluded from the count as a result of negative test findings or lack of case criteria. The number represents an additional 19 cases in the past 24 hours.

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Community meetings continue to take place throughout 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.

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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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