This is a Dengue Fever information update for Wednesday November 11th at 10:00AM.
The State Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak. As of 12:00 noon yesterday the Department of Health has reported 33 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island. These cases include 25 residents and 8 visitors and across multiple areas of the island.
Dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted or spread by infected mosquitoes and is not transmitted directly from person to person. Dengue Fever is not endemic or common to Hawaii and the source or origin of this outbreak is likely due to an introduction of the virus by a person who may have contracted the virus while in another area of the world and who became infectious while in Hawaii.
Because the only mode or method of transmission is through mosquito bites there are actions being taken to reduce the risks and include the spraying or treating of areas of high mosquito presence that are also areas of possible contact with infected people. This includes areas around residents of confirmed cases. The Department of Health will be conducting spraying at various locations in the Naalehu, Hilo, and Honaunau areas today.
Although spraying or treating of areas is ongoing, the most effective method of reducing the spread and possibly eliminating Dengue is to minimize or prevent the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, use of mosquito repellant and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest. In addition, persons feeling ill and having a fever should remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.
Public Information Meetings on Dengue Fever will be held at the following locations:
- Tomorrow night Thursday November 12th at the Konawaena High Cafeteria
- Friday November 13th at the Honokaa High Cafeteria
- Monday November 16th at the Hilo High Cafeteria
- Tuesday November 17th at the Keaau High Cafeteria
All meetings will begin at 6:00 PM each evening and the community is encouraged to attend.
Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.