The Hawaii Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak. As of Wednesday, the health officials had reported 145 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island. These cases include 128 residents and 17 visitors.

Image/National Atlas of the United States
Image/National Atlas of the United States

Current investigations have identified South Kona (in particular Hookena and Honaunau) as an area of particular concern, but the entire island is considered to be at risk.

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.

The symptoms of dengue fever, which usually start 5 to 7 days after being bitten by infected mosquitoes, but the onset can range from 3 – 14 days, include sudden onset of fever; severe headaches; eye, joint, and muscle pain; and rash.

The rash typically appears on the hands, arms, legs and feet 3 to 4 days after the fever begins. Minor bleeding problems can also occur. The symptoms usually go away completely within 1 to 2 weeks. Sometimes, people with dengue fever have blood clotting problems. When this happens, the illness is called severe dengue. Severe dengue is a very serious illness with abnormal bleeding and very low blood pressure (shock).