A case of travel-related dengue reported on O‘ahu

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The Hawai‘i Department of Health received a report of a travel-related dengue case on O‘ahu.

The person had visited a region where the illness is known to be spread.

Symptoms of dengue typically may be mild or severe and include fever, nausea, vomiting, rash, and body aches. Symptoms typically last two to seven days and although severe and even life-threatening illness can occur, most people recover after about a week.

Dengue virus is spread from infected person to mosquito to person. While Hawai‘i is home to the type of mosquitoes that can carry dengue, the disease is not established here in the state, and cases are currently only seen in travelers.


Dengue outbreaks do occur in many parts of the world including Central and South America, Asia (including the Republic of the Philippines), the Middle East, Africa, and some Pacific Islands, including the U.S. territories of American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau, and in many popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean (including Puerto Rico).

Anyone who travels to an area with dengue is at risk for infection. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises travelers to practice usual precautions when traveling to areas of dengue risk. This includes using an EPA-registered insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors, and sleeping in an air-conditioned room or room with window screens, or under an insecticide-treated bed net.

Some countries are reporting increased numbers of cases, so it is important four to six weeks before you travel, to review country-specific travel information for the most up-to-date guidance on dengue risk and prevention measures for that country. Travelers returning from an area with the risk of dengue should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks and should seek medical evaluation if symptoms of dengue develop within two weeks of return.


In areas of suspected or confirmed dengue, Hawai‘i DOH personnel (Vector Control Branch) conducts inspections and mosquito-reducing activities. Reducing mosquito populations reduces the chances of dengue being transmitted to other people. In areas without reported dengue cases, eliminating mosquito breeding sites in and around your home is a good practice. Mosquitoes only need small amounts of standing water to breed. Common breeding sites at home include buckets, water-catching plants (such as bromeliads), small containers, planters, rain barrels, or even cups left outside. Simply pouring out containers of standing water eliminates the potential for mosquito breeding.

Finally, no matter where you live, if the area is prone to mosquitoes, wear long sleeves and long pants and or use approved EPA-registered repellents, especially at dusk and dawn to reduce your chances of mosquito bites.

For more information, visit the Disease Outbreak Control Division website and Vector Control Branch website.


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