Statement from Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO: Dengue fever outbreak halted


HONOLULU, Hawaii – The spread of dengue fever on the Hawaii Island (the Big Island) has been stopped. George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by the State of Hawaii:

“Today’s report that the dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii Island has been halted is a huge relief for residents and tourism industry partners statewide, as well as travelers planning a Hawaii vacation. Travelers can book and experience all of the Hawaiian Islands with confidence and without hesitation.

“Hawaii is fortunate that locally acquired cases of dengue never got beyond Hawaii Island, and that the vast majority of cases occurred before February. Despite negative publicity associated with the dengue outbreak, visitor arrivals statewide, including those for Hawaii Island, are ahead of last year’s record-setting pace through the first quarter. That speaks well of Hawaii’s enduring brand as a quality global destination and to the response of both the State and County of Hawaii in halting dengue.

“Mahalo to Gov. Ige, the State Department of Health and the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency for the diligence of their collective efforts in bringing an end to the dengue outbreak.

“With the longer, warmer days of summer coming, it’s imperative residents, travel industry partners and visitors on all islands be conscientious in helping to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses. Using insect repellent while enjoying nature and taking steps to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes cluster and breed will help keep Hawaii safe and healthy.”

At a press conference held today in the office of Hawaii Governor David Ige, it was reported that there have been no new locally acquired cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island in the past 30 days. The final day of the infectious period for the last reported case was March 27. Since then, 3 periods of the maximum human incubation period of ten days have passed with no new cases reported.

Starting on September 11, 2015, there have been 264 cases of locally acquired dengue fever confirmed on Hawaii Island over the past six months, with 238 cases being Hawaii Island residents and 26 being visitors. No locally acquired cases of dengue fever have been reported on any other island in Hawaii. Dengue fever is not endemic to Hawaii, but can be imported by infected travelers from endemic areas.