East Hawaii News

Big Island Dengue Fever Count at a Standstill

April 12, 2016, 1:32 PM HST
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Spraying operations being conducted on Nov. 2. DOH file photo.

Spraying operations being conducted on Nov. 2. DOH file photo.

No new cases of dengue fever were confirmed on the Big Island Tuesday by the Hawai’i Department of Health.

The overall case count remains at 263 as Governor David Ige has signed a supplemental proclamation to extend the state’s emergency period for combating mosquito-borne illnesses.

Governor Ige signed the proclamation on Monday afternoon, extending the emergency period another 60 days. 

The proclamation includes not just dengue fever, but all mosquito-borne illnesses, including Zika.

On February 12, Governor Ige signed the initial declaration, four days after Mayor Billy Kenoi issued an emergency declaration at the county level as the dengue outbreak continued.

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Signing the emergency proclamation gives the state access to the Major Disaster Fund and allows the option to waive certain laws and regulations related to outbreak response, if needed. It also permits coordination with other states and territories for mutual aid from the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, and opens the door for federal funding help if the state runs out of resources.

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In total, 237 Big Island residents have been infected with the dengue virus. An additional 26 island visitors have also contracted the disease.

Since the September 2015 onset of the breakout, 1,601 potential cases of dengue fever have been excluded from the overall count. This includes four potential cases in the past week.

Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, joint or muscle pain, headache or pain behind the eyes, and rash.

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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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