Dengue fever is now confirmed by the Health Department, as they found two cases on the Big Island and are now investigating four more possible ones.
Dengue fever or the breakbone fever, is a tropical disease caused by the dengue virus, spread by mosquitoes. Its symptoms are headache, fever, joint pains and a very typical skin rash that resembles measles. The disease can be fatal if it develops into what’s called a dengue hemorrhagic fever, which results in bleeding, or if it turns into dengue shock syndrome which results into extremely low blood pressure.
What’s interesting about the two cases recently discovered is that authorities have found no mosquitoes there. Nonetheless, authorities have taken the right measures and started spraying the area, just in case. Also, they have reminded everybody in the zone to take measures and try to protect themselves .
Hawaii is not part of the region usually affected by Dengue fever, but it is home to the insects that transmit it, according to a state epidemiologist, Dr. Sarah Park.
The authorities recommend that, in order to avoid getting infected with Dengue fever, people should be careful and eliminate mosquitoes’ breeding places in their homes and should take extra precautions when it comes to eliminating solid waste. The female mosquitoes use solid waste to deposit eggs, which will hatch next summer and cause another outbreak of Dengue fever.
The two people who are now infected were part of a group of YouTube personalities who visited Hawaii’s big island earlier in October. They are now both recovering, as Dengue fever is curable but people should still be on their guard, both scientists and authorities say.
Another form of precaution would be to use spray repellents against mosquitoes, especially those containing 20 to 30 per cent DEET. Also, people could try wearing long sleeves and full pants, hats or caps in those areas where the mosquitoes are known to inhabit.
The number of dengue fever cases has increased very much since the 60s. Since then, some 50 to 528 million people have been infected every year. It has become a global problem since the second World War and now the disease affect 110 countries. Ways to fight it or eliminate it for good are being sought as we speak. Scientists are trying to either eliminate the mosquitoes responsible altogether, or to develop a vaccine, or some special medication intended to destroy the virus in the human body.
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