The Hawaii State Department of Health this week launched a campaign called “Fight the Bite,” which is designed to help end the spread of dengue fever in Hawaii. 

“The health and safety of our community and visitors is paramount, and the Department of Health is working collaboratively with all of our partners – including fellow state agencies, the Counties, healthcare providers, business leaders, nonprofit service providers and more – to address this important situation and end the spread of dengue fever in Hawaii as quickly as possible,” Virginia Pressler, MD, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health said in a press release about the outbreak, which so far has affected 27 people. “To keep Hawaii safe and dengue-free, we are asking the community for their help in following the easy tips and suggestions shared through our campaign and joining us as together we Fight the Bite!” 

The campaign features a variety of interactive marketing strategies, including the DOH website, earned media, advertising in local print publications and radio outlets, marketing collateral, engagement through multiple digital platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and outreach at the local level.


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Officials with the DOH are recommending applying mosquito repellent containing 20 to 30% DEET, wearing long sleeved shirts and pants, using indoor insecticides, and reducing the amount of mosquitoes by clearing areas with standing water. 

Travelers to areas with infected mosquitoes where dengue fever is endemic —  dengue is not endemic to Hawaii — are at the highest risk of acquiring the disease. Symptoms of dengue fever typically begin within a week after a bite from an infected mosquito and may include fever, joint or muscle pains, headache or pain behind the eyes, and rash. DOH confirmed today a total of 27 cases of locally transmitted dengue fever on Hawaii Island.