- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official says the Big Island is identifying most cases of dengue fever in a timely manner.

West Hawaii Today reports (http://bit.ly/1ILRqJf) CDC Division of Vector-Borne Diseases Director Lyle Petersen visited the island for three days to provide Hawaii County Civil Defense and the state Department of Health with recommendations on the local response.

“Our initial finding is that surveillance efforts are right on,” Petersen said.

He didn’t specify which adjustments might be needed, but said Hawai”s Fight the Bite campaign and community outreach should continue.

At about 130 cases, the disease if far from endemic. Petersen said it would take hundreds of thousands of cases per year to qualify dengue as endemic to the island.

“That’s not what is happening here,” he said. “We’re seeing sporadic transmission in all segments of the population. . It’s kind of smoldering along, but not exploding in nature. It’s probably not going to turn into a huge outbreak.”

Health officials on Friday confirmed 119 Big Island residents and 17 visitors have been impacted by the disease.

“Cases come into Hawaii from infected travelers all the time,” he said. “Many go undetected. These cases rarely start an outbreak.”

A CDC entomologist and technician is trapping mosquitoes on the island to find how many are infected, where they are located, and the efficacy of pesticides in reducing the insect’s population.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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