There are four dengue viruses that are spread by Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. They are known to thrive close to human habitations in clean or standing waters and are able to transmit the disease between individuals. After being bitten by an infected mosquito, it usually takes between 4 - 7 days for the various symptoms to appear. These symptoms may include: Fever, Headache, Pain behind the eye (known as Retro-orbital pain), joint pain, nausea, vomiting, rash, backaches, acute pain in stomach, and internal bleeding due to hemorrhage.
What is Zika Virus?
This virus is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites, blood transfusion, intercourse, during pregnancy and delivery. Symptoms are usually mild, and most people do not realize that they are infected. If you’re feeling ill, see your physician. Once a person has been infected, they are likely to be protected from future infections. Pregnant women are advised to take extra caution in areas with known cases of Zika due to potential birth abnormalities for the fetus. These symptoms may include: Fever, rash, joint pain, muscle pain, headache, or conjunctivitis (red eyes).
What is the State’s response?
Hawaii has had 263 confirmed cases of Dengue (237 residents and 26 visitors) and 5 confirmed cases of Zika that were infected outside of Hawaii. A Kauai resident has been infected with Zika on their recent trip to Latin America. Due to the potential threat, the individual has been advised to stay indoors and take proper precaution. The state sent a vector control team to evaluate and found no potential threat. Recently, a child in Oahu was born with Microcephaly, a defect linked to Zika.
Governor Ige declared a state of emergency against mosquito-borne illnesses. This action released funds to build up our mosquito/vector control staff and execute more preventative measures. The DOH (Hawaii Department of Health) executed a state version of “Fight the Bite,” to encourage awareness and prevention. For more information, visit www.fightthebitehawaii.com.
How to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?
Eliminate standing water (puddles, buckets, etc.)
Apply insect repellent as directed
Avoid activities in areas with lots of mosquitoes
Wear long sleeves and pants
Use A/C, ensure windows and doors have enact screens, or sleep with mosquito nets