Daily News Archive
From October 15, 2001

Dengue Fever Outbreak in West Hawaii

Hawaiian health officials recently confirmed 49 cases of dengue fever. This is the first Hawaiian outbreak of dengue in more than 50 years, although there has been a major outbreak across the South Pacific. Most of the cases have been found in eastern Maui.

According to a New York Times article, officials are spraying pesticides wherever there are suspected cases. The Hawaii Department of Health's Vector Control Branch confirmed they are spraying synthetic pyrethroids. Health officials are also recommending prevention methods, such as eliminating breeding grounds and using larvicides.

Like the West Nile virus found on the East Coast and the St. Louis encephalitis found in the South, dengue fever is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms last for about a week and include high fever, rash, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, and nausea or vomiting.

Beyond Pesticides is currently developing a national mosquito management strategy. This strategy will provide policy recommendations that emphasizes community education and prevention methods and using pesticides to kill adult mosquitoes only when there are positively infected mosquito pools.

For more information on dengue in Hawaii, go to www.maui.net/~mauinews/framnews.htm.