At a time of year when vector-borne diseases are not at the forefront of attention, Hawaii is facing its first significant outbreak of Dengue fever since 2001. This serves as another reminder among a constant stream of the ways that local public health is impacted by international disease. Zika virus, another mosquito-borne febrile agent, also continues to gather attention as a global health threat as it spreads to areas that previously had no experience with the disease.
The National Guard will be assisting Hawaii’s Department of Health in a support role in response to the increasing number of cases of Dengue fever on Hawaii’s Big Island. Officials with CDC have emphasized that the outbreak is not reason to cancel plans to the tropical state– the current outbreak is not huge, but rather draws attention from the public health community because Dengue fever is not endemic to Hawaii. The National Guard will be helping to spread awareness, seek out individuals who may be infected, and support efforts to control the disease. Read more