Hawaii Reports Dengue Outbreak Up to 139 Cases

The Hawaii Department of Health reported Dec. 7 that a total of 139 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed as of that date on Hawaii Island.

The Hawaii Department of Health reported Dec. 7 that a total of 139 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed as of that date on Hawaii Island (the Big Island). HDOH is investigating a cluster of locally-acquired cases of dengue, which is not endemic to Hawaii but is sometimes imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. The agency reports this is the first cluster of locally-acquired dengue fever since a 2011 outbreak on Oahu. One case during the current investigation has been confirmed on Oahu, but it is not associated with the Hawaii Island investigation, according to HDOH.

Dengue is spread by mosquitoes and is not transmitted person to person.

The cases break down as 122 confirmed costs in Hawaii Island residents and 17 cases of infected visitors. According to HDOH, 108 cases have been adults and 31 have been children younger than 18. Onset of illness for the cases has ranged from Sept. 11 through Nov. 30. As of Dec. 7, a total of 424 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Symptoms of dengue fever include sudden onset of fever; severe headaches; eye, joint, and muscle pain; and rash. Symptoms usually go away completely within one to two weeks, but some 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.

HDOH is routinely monitoring for cases of imported dengue infection on all of the islands; Vector Control is performing mosquito site assessments and abatement as needed.

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