The number of locally-acquired cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island grew by four since Friday as the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) reported a total of 27 cases as of Monday.

Of the confirmed cases, 19 are Hawaii residents and 8 are visitors.  25 cases have been in adults; two have been pediatric. All are recovering. Onset of illness has ranged between 9/15/15 – 11/2/15.

Dengue is not endemic to Hawaii. However, it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. This is the first cluster of locally-acquired dengue fever since the 2011 outbreak on Oahu.

There is no vaccine available against dengue, and there are no specific medications to treat a dengue infection. This makes prevention the most important step, and prevention means avoiding mosquito bites if you live in or travel to an endemic area.

The best way to reduce mosquitoes is to eliminate the places where the mosquito lays her eggs, like artificial containers that hold water in and around the home. Outdoors, clean water containers like pet and animal watering containers, flower planter dishes or cover water storage barrels. Look for standing water indoors such as in vases with fresh flowers and clean at least once a week.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC