After not reporting any new dengue fever cases since the weekend, the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) revealed five additional cases of the mosquito borne viral illness Wednesday, bringing the outbreak total to 207.
Of the confirmed cases, 187 are Hawaii Island residents and 20 are visitors. Of the confirmed cases, six individuals are currently listed as potentially infectious.
Since the beginning of the current investigation on Hawaii island, two imported dengue fever cases have been confirmed (one on Oahu and one on Hawaii), and one imported chikungunya case (on Hawaii) has been confirmed. These cases are not associated with the Hawaii island investigation.
Health officials will be having a dengue fever community meeting next week. According to a Big Island Now report, On Jan. 14, the Miloli’i Village community is invited to the Miloli’i Beach Park Halau from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for updates from the County of Hawai’i Office of the Mayor, County of Hawai’i Civil Defense and other agencies.
Dengue fever is a viral illness spread by mosquitoes. There are four closely related dengue viruses (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, and DENV 4). These viruses are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The disease occurs mainly in tropical Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. It is most common during the rainy season in areas infested with infected mosquitoes.
Sometimes, persons arriving from other countries may enter the United States with dengue fever and infect local mosquitoes, as happened in Hawaii in 2001 and 2011. The current 2015 Hawaii Island outbreak involves DENV serotype 1.