East Hawaii News

Dengue Case Count Holds at 256

February 17, 2016, 1:43 PM HST
* Updated February 17, 1:36 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, Feb. 17 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, Feb. 17 DOH image.

For the second day in a row, no new cases of dengue fever were confirmed on the Big Island.

The number has not increased from the 256 confirmed cases since Monday, when the case count grew by one.

Currently, the Hawai’i Department of Health is listing one case as “potentially infectious,” with an onset of illness of Feb. 9.

So far in the outbreak, 232 Big Island residents have been infected with dengue virus. A total of 231 of those cases are no longer at risk of infecting mosquitoes that could transfer the disease to other humans.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 1,225 potential cases of dengue have been excluded from the overall count. This number rose by four in the past 24 hours and includes cases that test negative and/or did not meet case criteria.

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The Hawai’i Department of Health has updated its risk area map, continuing to list Kailua-Kona as the sole “high risk” area on the Big Island. Captain Cook remains listed as “moderate risk,” while the Keauhou area appears to have been removed from any risk level on the map.

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DOH, Hawai’i County Civil Defense, Community Response Teams, and community partners began door-to-door dengue education outreach in Kailua-Kona on Wednesday.

County officials said Tuesday that the outreach is a proactive and preventative effort to inform residents, visitors, and businesses about ways to reduce exposure to dengue and to promote the “Fight the Bite” campaign.

Community meetings are being held through the month of February on a weekly basis in both East and West Hawai’i.

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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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