In an update on the outbreak of locally acquired dengue fever on the Big Isle of Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) reported Saturday an additional 11 dengue cases, bringing the outbreak total to 49.

Hawaii/Perry-Castañeda Library
Hawaii/Perry-Castañeda Library

Of the confirmed cases, 39 are Hawaii residents and 10 are visitors. 39 cases have been adults; ten 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 will be conducting spraying at various locations in the South Kona area Sunday, the Hawaii County Civil Defense reported today.

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 repellent 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.

Public Information Meetings on Dengue Fever will be held at the following locations:

  •  Tomorrow Monday November 16th at the Hilo High Cafeteria
  • Tuesday November 17th at the Keaau High Cafeteria

All meetings will begin at 6:00 PM each evening and the community is encouraged to attend.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63