The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) has reported an addition seven locally-acquired dengue fever cases Thursday on Hawaii island, bringing the outbreak total to 79.
Of the confirmed cases, 68 are Hawaii residents and 11 are visitors. 59 cases have been adults; Twenty have been children (<18 years of age).
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, Puna and Kau 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
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. In addition, the spraying activities will be conducted around planned and scheduled activities at the campuses and no programs or activities at the schools have been cancelled.
Although spraying and treatment of areas is ongoing, health officials say 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.