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The dengue fever that hit Hawaii seems to have come to an end. Although the fever cases were higher than ever in the days before Christmas, no new cases of dengue fever have been reported in Hawaii after the holiday.
According to the Hawaii State Department of Health, 181 cases of the disease have been reported until December 28, and only two patients are still considered contagious. The fever is transmitted through the mosquitoes that bite the infected people. The last time the dengue fever was registered in Hawaii was in 2011.
Although 715 people were thought to have the dengue fever in the beginning, only 181 cases have been confirmed, of which 163 were Hawaii residents and only 18 were tourists. The number of adults surpassed the number of kids, with 145 to 36. The outbreak stopped without the intervention of a health department though.
Dengue fever, also known as breakbone fever is a tropical disease caused by the dengue virus and spread through mosquito bites. One week after the bite, the dengue fever symptoms start to show and they include fever, headaches, rashes, pain behind the eyes and muscle or joint pain. The rash is very similar to the one caused by measles, so pay attention to the other symptoms in order to identify the disease coreclty. The disease can develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever or into dengue shock syndrome, although it very rarely does. The former one leads to bleeding and blood plasma leakage and the later leads to a dangerously low blood pressure. Although the disease can be deadly, experts say that under medical supervision, even the critical patients will be fine.
The local Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that they don’t expect the fever to cause an epidemic. They are now trying to control the disease by limiting the spread of the dangerous mosquitoes and they are also bringing awareness to the locals on which factors help the mosquitoes reproduce. They advise people to empty or cover all things that contain water like pools, barrels or old tires. Holes in the patio, bird baths and tall grass can also be places where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
Doctor Lyle Petersen said that other cases of dengue fever are expected to appear in the near future, mainly because it takes some time for the symptoms of the fever to appear. Petersen also said that the disease could take one of two very different roads. It could either stop now or other cases could appear, but the risk of becoming endemic is still low. Even though we don’t know what the future holds in store, the news that no new cases of dengue fever have been reported in Hawaii, is enough to make a lot of people relax and enjoy the present.
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