The State Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak. As of 10:30 today the Department of Health has reported 72 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island. These cases include 62 residents and 10 visitors.
Dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted or spread by infected mosquitoes and not directly from person to person. Dengue Fever is not endemic or common to Hawaii. It was likely introduced by a person who contracted the virus in another area of the world and became infectious while in Hawaii.
Because dengue fever is only transmitted by mosquitoes, the Department of Health is spraying and treating areas with high mosquito presence and confirmed cases. The Department of Health may be conducting spraying at various locations in the Kona, Hilo, and Puna areas today. In addition, the Department of Health with support from the County of Hawaii and the Department of Education will be conducting preventive spraying or treating of areas around the following school campuses this weekend:
- Konawaena High, Middle and Elementary Schools
- Honaunau School
- Hookena School
- Hilo High School
- Hilo Intermediate School
- Waiakea Intermediate and Elementary Schools
Again, these school campuses are being treated as a preventative measure and based on proximity to confirmed cases in the area. There are no cases directly related to any of the school facilities or campuses.
Although spraying and treatment of areas is ongoing, the most effective method to reduce the spread and possible elimination of Dengue is to minimize or prevent the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using 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.
For additional information on Dengue Fever and preventing the spread of Dengue Fever, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001., Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.
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