HAWAII ISLAND – Mosquito control and pesticide treatments will occur in Honaunau and Telephone Exchange Road on Friday in response to the Big Island dengue fever outbreak that has already infected 19 people. Hawaii County Civil Defense also says Ho’okena Beach Park will remain closed until further notice.
Of the 19 cases, 17 are adults and two are pediatric cases. All have either recovered or are recovering. The state Department of Health now says the onset of illness has ranged between September 15 of this year to October 27, although more cases are being confirmed everyday. South Kona between Ho’okena and Honaunau was identified as a hotspot.
The County of Hawaii is taking action. Along with the beach closure, old tires will now be accepted at the Waiohinu, Waiea and Keei Transfer Stations in an effort to reduce possible mosquito breeding areas. The county is also issuing daily updates via radio alerts and media releases.
This is a Dengue Fever information update for Thursday November 5th at 5:00pm.
As of approximately 12:00 noon today the State Department of Health has confirmed 19 cases of dengue fever originating on Hawai’i Island and is investigating other suspected cases. These confirmed cases include both residents and visitors and are distributed across multiple areas of the island.
Dengue fever is a virus that is spread by infected mosquitos. It is not transmitted directly from person to person. Symptoms of dengue fever include severe headaches, rash, and pain in eyes, joints, muscles and bones. Some of these symptoms can resemble other illnesses. If you believe you may be suffering from dengue fever, contact your health care provider and follow their recommendations.
The State Department of Health is working with other State and County agencies to identify common factors in these cases, inspect possible sources of dengue-carrying mosquitos, and take appropriate control actions.
To prevent the potential spread of dengue fever, the State Department of Health recommends residents take steps to remove standing water where mosquitos can live and breed at their homes and businesses. Water catchment systems should be covered to prevent possible breeding opportunities. To aid in reducing possible breeding areas the County of Hawaii Department of Environmental Management will be accepting old tires at the following solid waste transfer stations:
• Waiohinu Transfer Station
• Waiea Transfer Station
• Keei Transfer Station
This tire collection is limited to residential clean up only and limited to the normal operating hours of the listed transfer stations.
In addition the Department of Health recommends people should avoid mosquito bites by wearing light colored long sleeves and pants outdoors, and considering the use of mosquito repellent if going to an area where you are likely to get bitten. Extra care should be taken by people who are medically fragile to include our seniors and young children. If using mosquito repellants, please read and follow the instructions and precautions.
As a proactive and preventative measure, Hookena Beach Park will remain closed until further notice. This action is necessary to allow for health and parks department staff to conduct mosquito control and pesticide treatments.
For additional information on Dengue Fever and preventing the spread of Dengue Fever, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-4000, extension 68362.