HAWAII ISLAND – Milolii Beach Park is closed until further notice “as a proactive and preventative measure” in response to the dengue fever outbreak, making it the second South Kona beach park to be closed since the disease began to spread around Hawaii Island.
As of Wednesday, December 23, the Hawaii Department of Health says there have been 6 new confirmed cases since Tuesday, making the total number of confirmed cases 176.
“Currently, there are 8 cases that are potentially infectious (onset of disease from 12/13/15 to 12/17/15),” health officials reported, “while the remaining 168 are no longer infectious (onset from 9/11/15 to 12/11/15). Of the confirmed cases, 158 have been Hawaii residents and 18 have been visitors. 140 cases have been adults; 36 have been children.
The state also issued a new dengue fever risk map, showing areas of high risk (red), moderate risk (orange) and low risk (yellow). Full map is posted below.
The closure of Milolii Beach Park indicates that the fishing village has become an area of concer, joining Ho’okena Beach Park. “This action is necessary to allow for health and parks department staff to conduct mosquito control and pesticide treatments,” civil defense stated in a Wednesday message. “In addition, the Hookena Beach Park also remains closed until further notice. Access to both the areas will be limited to local residents only. We apologize for any inconvenience with these closures. ”
The unified command had some more info this evening (Dec. 23) on what they are now calling the “hot spot in the Miloliʻi community based on new confirmed cases”:
“Miloli‘i Beach Park was closed yesterday until further notice to reduce the numbers of people visiting the area. Camping permit holders have been contacted and their permits either cancelled or moved to other parks. Teams from HCCDA and DOH went door-to-door in Miloli‘i today with information and repellent. A multidisciplinary team was also present to immediately screen anyone exhibiting or reporting symptoms and connect them with health care services.”Hawaii State and County Unified Command
The response to the Dengue Fever outbreak continues and as a proactive and preventative measure, Milolii Beach Park will be closed until further notice. This action is necessary to allow for health and parks department staff to conduct mosquito control and pesticide treatments. In addition, the Hookena Beach Park also remains closed until further notice. Access to both the areas will be limited to local residents only. We apologize for any inconvenience with these closures.
As of 1:00 today the Department of Health reported six additional confirmed cases since yesterday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak to 176. These cases include 158 residents and 18 visitors.
Dengue is a virus that is transmitted from an infected person to a mosquito, which can then infect another person. Dengue fever cannot be spread directly from person to person. Of the 176 confirmed cases, 8 are recent and could be in the stage of their illness in which they can infect mosquitoes.
Symptoms of dengue include a high fever, intense headache and joint pain, and rash on the arms. If you suspect you may have dengue, contact your health care provider and remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.
The Department of Health is spraying and treating areas connected to confirmed cases to reduce mosquito populations. In addition, Civil Defense teams are inspecting areas of high mosquito presence reported by the community. If teams visit your home while you are away, they will leave a note – please follow the instructions on the note to contact the appropriate agency.
While these efforts lower risk by reducing mosquito populations, the most effective method to reduce the spread of dengue is for everyone to avoid and prevent mosquito bites. Fight The Bite 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.
For additional information on dengue and preventing the spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001. Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.
Effective this week, updates to the dengue outbreak will be limited to three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.