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Friday, March 25, 2011

US : Dengue fever hits Pearl City (Hawaii)

From Star Advertiser :

" The illness, spread by mosquitoes, turns up in four people in one area

Four people who live in the same Pearl City neighborhood are the first known Hawaii cases of locally contracted dengue fever since a 2001 outbreak in which 153 people were infected with the mosquito-borne viral illness, health officials announced yesterday.

A Pearl City woman who traveled to Wisconsin last month was hospitalized for high fever, among other symptoms, and was diagnosed with dengue fever after a blood test for the disease came back positive.

Also showing symptoms of the disease are two adults who are members of her family and their neighbor. None has traveled elsewhere.

Two cases are confirmed, and the other two are awaiting test results.

"It's certainly possible, given that we've found this cluster of four — two of whom were not diagnosed by their clinicians — it's entirely possible there were others," said state Epidemiologist Sarah Park. "You only need one person infected who has the virus in their blood and they get bit by a mosquito, and you have a mosquito that's infected."

Park likened it to drug users spreading disease by sharing dirty needles."

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