Hawaii Island dengue outbreak now state's largest, with 130 confirmed cases

Hawaii Island dengue outbreak now state's largest, with 130 confirmed cases

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii Health Department officials are now confirming 130 cases of dengue fever, making the outbreak the largest since 2001.

Officials announced eight new cases of dengue fever Thursday.

Of those who have fallen ill, 114 have been Hawaii Island residents and 30 have been minors.

The figure means this outbreak is now larger than an outbreak in 2001, previously the largest the state had experienced.

The new total comes as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team is on the Big Island to work with the state on efforts to stem the outbreak.

In the 2001 outbreak, which lasted for 10 months, 122 confirmed cases were reported, beginning in a rural region of the island and then centering in areas with thick vegetation and heavy precipitation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the strain was likely imported by travelers from French Polynesia.

The most recent locally-acquired dengue fever outbreak in Hawaii was in 2011, when five people on Oahu contracted the illness.

Dengue fever is transmitted to humans when they are bit by infected mosquitoes. The symptoms usually include a sudden onset of fever, severe headaches, rash and eye, joint and muscle pain.

There was one recent case of illness on Oahu, but it was not locally transmitted.

No other locally-acquired dengue fever cases have been reported on any other islands.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.