Fight the Bite: Dengue Count Rises to 33

November 10, 2015, 3:57 PM HST · Updated November 10, 4:35 PM
Wendy Osher · 10 Comments
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**Video credit: State Department of Health; VO: Wendy Osher

The confirmed dengue fever count on Hawaiʻi Island has risen to 33, according to new information released today by the State Department of Health.  That’s six more cases that what was reported on Monday, and includes 25 Big Island residents and eight visitors.

Health officials note that 29 of the cases have been in adults and four have been pediatric cases. The onset of illness has ranged from between Sept. 11, 2015 and Nov. 2, 2015.

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    The department reports that since the current investigation on Hawaiʻi Island began, one imported dengue fever case has also been confirmed outside of the Big Island on Oʻahu. Health officials say this case is not associated with the Hawaiʻi Island investigation.

    Department officials say crews continue to routinely monitor for cases of imported dengue infection on all islands and has Vector Control units performing mosquito site assessments and abatement as needed.

    The Hawaiʻi Department of Health released a map showing potential exposure areas across Hawaiʻi Island, and also launched “Fight the Bite,” a statewide public education campaign that seeks to end the spread of dengue fever in Hawaiʻi. The campaign includes a series of six press conferences scheduled through next week.

    “The health and safety of our community and visitors is paramount, and the Department of Health is working collaboratively with all of our partners – including fellow state agencies, the counties, healthcare providers, business leaders, nonprofit service providers and more – to address this important situation and end the spread of dengue fever in Hawaiʻi as quickly as possible,” said Virginia Pressler, M.D., director of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health in a press release announcement.

    “In order to keep Hawaiʻi safe and dengue-free, we are asking the community for their help in following the easy tips and suggestions shared through our campaign and joining us as together we Fight the Bite,” said Pressler.

    The DOH recommends the following:

    • Apply mosquito repellent containing 20-30% DEET;
    • Wear long sleeved shirts and pants;
    • Use indoor insecticides; and
    • Reduce the amount of mosquitoes on your property by clearing areas with standing water.

    Health officials say “dengue fever is spread through mosquito contact – mosquitoes carrying the illness from an infected individual can spread it from one individual to another through mosquito bites.”

    According to the DOH, symptoms of dengue fever typically begin within a week after a bite from an infected mosquito and may include: fever, joint or muscle pains, headache or pain behind the eyes and rash.

    Public information meetings on Hawaiʻi Island include the following:

    Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.
    Naʻalehu Community Center

    Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.
    Konawaena High School Cafeteria, Kealakekua

    Friday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m.
    Honokaʻa High School Cafeteria, Honokaʻa

    Monday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.
    Hilo High School Cafeteria, Hilo

    Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.
    Keaʻau High School Cafeteria, Keaʻau

    Fight the Bite graphics showing potential exposure areas. Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Fight the Bite graphics showing potential exposure areas. Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Dengue vector control. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Dengue vector control. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Dengue vector control. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Dengue vector control. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Dengue vector control. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Dengue vector control. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Dengue vector control. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Dengue vector control. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi District Health Office.

    Fight the Bite graphics.

    Fight the Bite graphics.

    Fight the Bite graphics.

    Fight the Bite graphics.

    Fight the Bite graphics.

    Fight the Bite graphics.

    Fight the Bite graphics.

    Fight the Bite graphics.

    Wendy Osher
    Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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