HONAUNAU, Hawaii – BreeLyn Dupertuis came down with a severe case of dengue fever in early November. It took the 37-old Honaunau resident over a month to feel better.
Dupertuis is studying to become a massage therapist, and has farmed land in South Kona for 10 years. She was exposed to mosquito bites both on her farm, and at one of her vacation rental-cleaning jobs in Ho’okena, the beach community where several of the dengue cases in the current Big Island outbreak were first discovered.
Dupertuis says she contracted it from a mosquito on November 1 and 8 days later the first symptoms appeared. Dupertuis says she was checking herself for a fever regularly because her co-workers where she contracted it had also fallen ill. Just when she thought she had “dodged a bullet”, her fever spiked to 104 degrees in a couple of hours.
“When the fever hit I noticed my brain thought process was going a little bit weird,” Dupertuis said, “and I knew something was off. Then I couldn’t move, instantly. I could barely walk. Quickly after that I had a headache that is unparalleled, I’ve never felt anything like it. The headache and just barely being able to walk or open my eyes; that was all within the first five hours of the fever.”
In this video, BreeLyn and her mother, Teri Callaghan, tell a story of their frightening experience with dengue fever.
Since the dengue fever outbreak was identified on Hawaii Island in September, 210 people are known to have been infected with the disease.