East Hawaii News

Big Island Dengue Count Holds at 260

February 25, 2016, 1:31 PM HST
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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. 25.

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. 25.

After rising by one case on Wednesday, no confirmed cases of dengue fever were confirmed Thursday.

Hawai’i Department of Health officials continue to list the total number of dengue cases as 260, with no current cases “potentially infectious.”

No cases were listed as being at risk of spreading the disease to mosquitoes since Tuesday, when the number was listed at one.

So far this week, only one new case has been added to the count. On Monday and Tuesday, the count sat at 259, the same number reported at the end of the last work week.

Friday, Feb. 19 also marked the last time that more than one individual was listed as “potentially infectious.”

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On Thursday, DOH noted that 12 more cases have been excluded from the count with a total now reaching 1,325. The cases include those that have been deemed negative as result of laboratory testing, as well as those that have not met case criteria.

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In total, 235 Big Island residents have been affected by the disease, along with 25 visitors to the island.

Hawai’i County Civil Defense released new mapping of confirmed, suspected, and negative dengue cases. It continue to include a spread throughout the island’s most populated areas and smaller communities.

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

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DOH, Civil Defense, Community Response Teams, and community partners began door-to-door dengue education outreach in Kailua-Kona last week.

County officials said 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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