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Dengue Fever Information

Civil Defense Messages & Alerts

Basic Information

Dengue fever is a virus that is spread by infected mosquitoes and is not transmitted directly from person to person. Symptoms include severe headaches, rash, and pain in eyes, joints, muscles and bones. If you believe you may be suffering from dengue fever, contact your health care provider and follow their recommendations.

To prevent the potential spread of dengue fever, the State Department of Health recommends residents remove standing water at their homes and businesses, and water catchment systems should be covered to prevent possible breeding opportunities. Avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and pants outdoors, and use mosquito repellent if going to an area where you are likely to get bitten.

The State Department of Health and County of Hawaii are working together to identify areas or locations of possible affected mosquitoes and are taking measures to address any concerns to ensure the safety of the community. This includes areas around County of Hawaii workplaces and facilities.


The County of Hawai‘i is working with the State Department of Health to get information out to our community about dengue fever and how we can all work together to stop its spread on Hawai‘i Island.

For information about dengue fever, frequently asked questions, the latest case count, and downloadable handouts to share with others, visit the State Department of Health’s website at

State Department of Health Phone Numbers:

  • Hilo: 974-6001
  • Kona: 322-4880

To see the latest Hawai‘i County Civil Defense updates and sign up to get them sent to your phone or email, visit

Frequently Asked Questions

What is dengue fever?

Dengue fever is a viral illness spread by mosquitoes.

How do you  get it?

The dengue virus is spread through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue is not spread directly from one person to another.

What are the symptoms of dengue fever?

The symptoms of dengue fever include sudden onset of fever, severe headaches, eye, joint, and muscle pain, and rash. The rash typically appears on the hands, arms, legs and feet 3 to 4 days after the  fever begins. Minor bleeding problems can also occur. The symptoms usually go away completely within 1 to 2 weeks. Sometimes, peoplewith dengue fever have blood clotting problems. When this happens, the illness is called dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a very serious illness with abnormal bleeding and very low blood pressure (shock). The symptoms usually start 5 to 6 days after being bitten by infected mosquitoes, but the onset can range from 2 to 15 days.

What is the treatment for dengue fever?

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. Bed rest and acetaminophen (Tylenol) to treat fever and pain are recommended. Aspirin and NSAIDS (ibuprofen, naproxen) are not recommended as they can make bleeding problems worse. There is currently no vaccine for dengue fever.

How can you keep from getting it?

When traveling to areas that have dengue fever, try to avoid exposure to mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes are usually most active in the early morning hours after daybreak, in the late afternoon before dark, and any time during the day when indoors or in shady areas. Use mosquito netting over beds, and screens on windows and doorways. Use mosquito repellents and wear appropriate clothing such as long-­‐sleeved shirts and long pants that reduce exposure to mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are drawn to dark colors; so if possible, wear white or light colored clothing when you are likely to be exposed to biting mosquitoes.