The mayor of Hawaii County (the big island) Bill Kenoi, has declared a state of emergency in order to combat a recent outbreak of dengue fever. The past 4 months have seen 250 confirmed cases of dengue on the island, signifying the largest outbreak of its kind in Hawaii since 1940. At the moment the state of emergency is intended only for Hawaii County.

The declaration will ignite a process of mosquito control by officials on the island, which will include public outreach and education. Eradication of known containers of high breeding will take place, such as old tires and areas where small amounts of water accumulate.

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Dengue is carried by the Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same specie that carries the Zika virus. Symptoms of dengue fever include a high fever, severe headache, joint pain, rashes and mild bleeding.

Dengue is not endemic to Hawaii but has been known to be imported by infected travelers. The last cases of dengue before this outbreak occurred in Oahu in 2011.

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