Dengue Fever Travel Warning for Oahu, Hawaii

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed a travel-related dengue virus case in Haleiwa, O‘ahu. Upon investigation, DOH found conditions that could increase the risk of transmission.

Vector control teams have responded and will continue to be active in the Haleiwa area on Oahu’s Northshore.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease occurring in tropical and subtropical areas. Those who become infected with the virus a second time are at a significantly greater risk of developing severe disease.

The public is urged to take additional precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to stop mosquitoes from breeding. 

Symptoms are high fever, rash, and muscle and joint pain. In severe cases, there is serious bleeding and shock, which can be life-threatening. Treatment includes fluids and pain relievers. Severe cases require hospital care.

The area where the case was reported experiences high traffic of visitors and tourists. 

Highly dense populations of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, a vector of dengue virus, were identified around the residence where the case was found and the surrounding area. The initial vector control response resulted in a marked reduction of mosquitoes around the case residence.

The DOH asks for support in reducing the potential for the spread of dengue by transmission.  Residents, visitors, and businesses can take the following steps:

  • Apply mosquito repellent on exposed skin, especially if outdoors. Repellent should be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contain 20-30% DEET (active ingredient). Other alternative active ingredients may include picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Click here to find the insect repellent that is right for you.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes (long sleeves and pants) that cover your skin.
  • Keep mosquitoes out of your home or business by keeping doors closed or screens in good repair.
  • Dump any standing water in or around your residence or business to eliminate potential breeding sites. This includes removing rainwater collected in buckets, flower pots, used tires, or even plants such as bromeliads.