Dengue in Hawaii

download (1)There is a Dengue outbreak on the Big Island, Hawaii. 


  • Fever
  • Headache behind eyes
  • Muscle and joint pain “breakbone fever”
  • Rash
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Followed by major fatigue.

How is it spread?

The infamous Aedes mosquito bite.  In a previous blog post we described Chikungunya virus, the causative agent of Chikungunya fever.  These 2 infections are carried by the same mosquito vector and look very similar.

Just came back from vacation with mosquito bites.  How long till I can rest easy?

Incubation period is 4-14 days.

What’s the worst that can happen?

  • Bleeding can be severe.
  • Leaky blood vessels 3-7 days later just after fever breaks.  Can lead to shock.

I think I am immune since I had Dengue before?

While unpleasant the first time you get it, it may be much more dangerous if you are reinfected.

How is it diagnosed? 

  • Initially based on symptoms
  • Blood  testing for antibodies
  • Virus detection – Blood sent to the CDC for DNA studies

Aloha, and don’t forget your mosquito repellent.

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