State: Dengue fever outbreak appears to be over

State: Dengue fever outbreak appears to be over

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The biggest dengue fever outbreak ever recorded in the state appears to be over, the governor said Wednesday.

In a news conference, Gov. David Ige said while the outbreak "seems to have come to a halt," the state must remain vigilant to ensure mosquito populations are kept at bay.

"This milestone could not have been reached without the diligent efforts and teamwork by the Department of Health and the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency," Ige said. "While this outbreak seems to be ending, our statewide response to mosquito-borne diseases must continue."

The outbreak started in September, and sickened a confirmed 264 people. The last case was reported on March 17.

In February, the state issued an emergency proclamation top fight mosquito-borne illnesses, including dengue fever and Zika. The decision came amid mounting criticism over the state's response to the Hawaii Island dengue fever outbreak.

The proclamation released much-needed funds to hire new personnel and add resources. The state's vector control branch was decimated by budget cuts, but has slowly been built back up.

Darryl Oliveira, administrator of the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, said the state needs to continue to work with residents, businesses and agencies on mosquito abatement. "By no means are we out of the clear," he said.

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