Over 250 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed in Hawaii, and the Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi of Big Island declared a state of emergency to contain the spread of the disease, which is usually transmitted by infected mosquitoes.
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The 250 cases were recorded within a 4-month period, and is causing serious health concerns among the inhabitants of the island and the government alike. Since old tires are known to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, people on Big Island are now allowed to dispose old tires in landfills.
The first reported dengue fever case in recent times was confirmed on October 29, 2015, and till date, it is the largest outbreak in Hawaii since the late 1940s, health officials said.
Dengue fever is an infectious disease of the tropics transmitted by mosquitoes and characterized by rash and aching head and joints; it often leads to flu-like symptoms and capable of progressing into hemorrhagic fever with loss of blood from ruptured blood vessels.
Hawaii Governor David Ige said the County Mayor Billy Kenoi has done well to arrest the spread of the infection, but that it will not be necessary to extend the state of emergency statewide unless the outbreak goes to other islands or it comes with the dreaded Zika virus.
Zika virus is already going out of hand in South and Central America and in parts of the Caribbean, and several birth defects in Brazil were linked to the virus infection. The only case of the infection on US soil was when a baby was born with severe brain damage in Oahu, Hawaii.
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Infected travelers from other regions have often brought dengue fever to Hawaii, and the recent outbreak on the Big Island is the first cluster case since 2011 when the Hawaii Department of Health revealed it first broke in Oahu.