East Hawaii News

Big Island Dengue Count Rises to 259 Friday

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Red pins represent confirmed cases of dengue fever, yellow pins represent potential dengue fever cases under investigation, and blue pins represent cases that turned out to be negative. Hawai'i County Civil Defense map, as of Feb. 18.

Red pins represent confirmed cases of dengue fever, yellow pins represent potential dengue fever cases under investigation, and blue pins represent cases that turned out to be negative. Hawai’i County Civil Defense map, as of Feb. 18.

One new dengue fever case was confirmed on the Big Island Friday, bringing the total case count to 259.

The cases include two that are being listed by the Hawai’i Department of Health as “potentially infectious” with an onset of illness between Feb. 9 and Feb. 13. The other 257 cases are no longer infectious, according to DOH.

So far, the outbreak has infected 234 Big Island residents and 25 visitors. The number of visitors infected has risen by one this week.

Since Monday, the count has risen by three cases.


Potential cases excluded from the count rose by 16 since Thursday. In total 1,262 cases have been left out of the count as they were deemed negative through testing and/or lack of case criteria.

Hawai’i County Civil Defense issued an updated map on Thursday depicting case locations throughout the duration of the outbreak. Most of the confirmed casts were found in West Hawai’i, while areas from Hilo to Kalapana were scattered with positive cases. A small amount was found in North Hawai’i and near the southern portion of the island.

Waipio Valley Access Road remains closed and limited to valley residents only due to the ongoing outbreak. Milolii and Hookena have also remained closed.

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 earlier in the week 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.

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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