Hawaii experiences a dengue fever outbreak with the mosquito-borne virus having made 122 victims since September according to the health officials.
According to health officials on the Big Island, a total of 16 visitors and 106 residents have been hospitalized with dengue fever since the beginning of the outbreak. All patients are out of risk and out of the hospital.
So if you were planning a trip to the Big Island, know that Hawaii experiences a dengue fever outbreak. Nonetheless, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of dengue fever for travellers is minimal if the right measures are taken. The Hawaii Dengue fever infection is the first locally-acquired in the past four years. In 2011, another Dengue fever outbreak was localized in Oahu.
The mosquito-borne virus may cause symptoms such as high fever, rashes, bleeding in some cases, pain in the joints, severe headaches. For children and the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, the infection may be deadly if the symptoms aren’t treated immediately.
Dengue fever infects over 100 million people worldwide every year according to the World Health Organization. But with the right protection measures, Dengue fever can be avoided. In Hawaii, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention team stated that it’s sufficient for visitors to do their best to keep mosquitoes away.
Pack repellent, wear long sleeves and long pants if possible and avoid places where the mosquitoes could rest or breed. Doctor Amesh Adalja with the UPMC Center for Health Security, Baltimore advises Hawaii residents and visitors alike to avoid still water and lush vegetation. The beach and the waves should be the least attractive spot for the virus-carrying mosquitoes.
At the same time, Hawaii health officials are asking residents to remove still water from where it’s possible. In addition, plants which retain water should be drained regularly, all leaky pipes should be fixed as to prevent the forming of still ponds, a perfect breeding spot for the mosquitoes.
Dengue fever is also known as ‘breakbone fever’ as the muscle and joint pain caused by the infection are quite severe. Doctor Sarah Park, chief of the Hawaii Disease Outbreak Control Division and Hawaii epidemiologist explained that pain behind one’s eyes is also a common symptom, In addition, fever as high as 104 degrees is common during a Dengue fever outbreak.
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