EXCLUSIVE: Dengue Fever Case Confirmed on Maui
By Wendy Osher
The state Department of Health tells Maui Now that they have confirmed a case of dengue fever in a resident of Maui that recently traveled to a country where dengue fever is endemic.
Health officials tell Maui Now that there are no other dengue cases related to this case.
“Since October, there have been three imported cases of dengue fever reported on Maui when individuals picked up the illness in another country while traveling,” said Janice Okubo, Public Information Officer for the State Department of Health.
According to Okubo, the department conducted a mosquito assessment and provided information to neighbors as a precautionary measure.
Maui Now has learned that representatives from the state Department of Health were speaking with residents in the North Kīhei area of Maui about the incident.
“Each year the state receives a number of reports of imported cases of dengue fever and travelers are urged to take precautions when visiting areas where the disease is endemic. The best prevention is to ‘Fight the Bite’ by avoiding mosquitos and using repellent and protective clothing,” said Okubo.
She advised that anyone who travels and becomes ill within two weeks after returning home to inform their physician about their travels.
The incident comes following an outbreak of dengue fever on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi that began on Sept. 11, 2015. As of Feb. 1, 2016, the state Department of Health reports that there were only two new cases of dengue fever, and only one of the cases was potentially infectious with an illness onset date of Jan. 23, 2016. All others are no longer infectious.
Of the confirmed cases, 220 were Hawaiʻi Island residents and 24 were visitors. 199 cases have been adults; 45 have been children under the age of 18 years. Onset of illness has ranged between Sept. 11, 2015 and Jan. 23, 2016.
As of today, a total of 1059 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.