As of Thursday, officials say there are now six new confirmed cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island. The overall count of confirmed cases, up 101 from just the day before, now totals 107.
The viral illness, transmitted by mosquitoes, has spurred widespread vector control spraying across Hawaii Island. The Health Department has also held community meetings, and Hawaii Island Civil Defense has worked to ensure mosquito repellent remains stocked in stores, reports Hawaii News Now.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is working with the Department of Health (DOH) to monitor confirmed cases of dengue fever in the state, according to Travel Pulse.
To help educate citizens and visitors about the illness, Hawaii’s DOH has started a public awareness campaign for dengue fever called “Fight the Bite.”
The DOH also posted information on its official website featuring tips and advice on how to protect oneself from catching the fever, as well as a map to illustrate where the outbreak has occurred.
“The most effective method of reducing the spread — and ultimately eliminating dengue — is to minimize, or prevent, being bitten by an infected mosquito,” Hawaii’s DOH says on its Dengue Fever Fact Sheet.
“To prevent catching or spreading dengue, apply mosquito repellant, wear light-colored long-sleeved shirts and pants, and avoid areas with high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest.
“Removing areas where mosquitoes can lay eggs is also key. Clear all areas with standing water and consider spraying potential areas with heavy mosquito populations with insecticides.”
The HTA released an official statement about handling the dengue fever outbreak:
“We will continue to work with industry stakeholders and our global marketing contractors to ensure that visitors to Hawaii know that it is safe to travel to the Hawaiian Islands and what precautions should be taken if they are planning to visit areas where cases have been found.”