|Hawaii Island // Photo by Freeimages.com/Steven Kapinos|
The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) recently released an official statement regarding confirmed cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island, commonly referred to as The Big Island.
"As a precaution, we recommend that visitors familiarize themselves with information on (the State Department of Health's) website prior to arriving in the state and encourage our stakeholders on Hawaii Island to share this information with their visitors and guests," according to the HTA.
Hawaii News Now is reporting that a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was scheduled to arrive in Hawaii on Monday night to help with the response to the dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii Island.
Virginia Pressler, director of the state Department of Health, said the in-person assessment will help the state determine if additional measures are needed to stem the dengue fever outbreak. Pressler said roughly 15 to 20 suspected cases are reported daily, but laboratory testing shows that two-thirds of those samples are not dengue fever, according to Hawaii News Now.
"We are working with the State Department of Health (DOH) and our marketing contractors to keep visitors to Hawaii Island informed of the situation," according to the HTA.
According to the Star Tribune, as of Friday, the number of confirmed cases has grown to 88 since September 11, the state Department of Health said. Seventy-five cases are Hawaii Island residents and 13 are visitors, according to the Star Tribune.
However, according to the same Star Tribune report, the growing dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii's Big Island isn't a reason to cancel vacation plans to the Aloha State, an official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
"We will continue to work with industry stakeholders and our global marketing contractors to ensure that visitors to Hawaii know that it is safe to travel to the Hawaiian Islands," said the HTA, "and what precautions should be taken if they are planning to visit areas where cases have been found."