Dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii Island widens

4 new cases of dengue fever confirmed, bringing total to 27

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii health officials have confirmed additional cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island, bringing the total affected by the outbreak to 33.

Of those who have fallen ill, four are children and 25 are Hawaii residents. Officials released a map showing potential exposure areas visited by infected individuals on the Big Island.

"Unfortunately, sometimes we have a situation where we're sort of behind the eight ball, frankly, which happened here," said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist.

Dozens of anxious people packed Yano Hall in Kona on Monday night for the first community meeting about the problem. The state launched an education campaign called "Fight the Bite" to help people protect themselves from infected mosquitoes.

"Mostly just the stagnant water, getting rid of that, making sure that we have no holes in our screens. We're spraying a little bit more," said Kailua-Kona resident Derek Simmons.

Meanwhile, officials say a case of dengue fever reported on Oahu was not contracted on island. The resident caught the disease out of state.

Vector control agents have been working in communities across Hawaii Island.

The symptoms of dengue fever include a sudden onset of fever, severe headaches, eye, joint, and muscle pain, and rash. The rash typically appears on the hands, arms, legs and feet three to four days after the fever begins.

The symptoms usually go away within one to two weeks. There's no cure for dengue fever. Typically, doctors suggest bed rest and acetaminophen.

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