Hawaii island’s Waipi‘o Valley area is now closed as a precaution amid the ongoing dengue fever outbreak.
Hawaii County Civil Defense officials halted traffic along Waipi‘o Valley Access Road, starting at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Until further notice, access will be limited to Waipi‘o Valley residents, according to a news release.
Also, Miloli‘i Beach Park remains closed. In addition, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources closed lands in the vicinity of Miloli‘i and Honomalino to all people except essential personnel and residents.
Since Friday, the state Department of Health has identified five new cases of locally acquired dengue fever, bringing Wednesday’s total to 215 cases.
Two people are potentially infectious, becoming symptomatic between Jan. 3 and Jan. 8, according to the Health Department. The remaining 213 cases are no longer infectious.
Of the confirmed Hawaii island cases, 195 are island residents and 20 are visitors.
While dengue is not endemic to Hawaii, it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers.
The recent cases mark the first cluster of locally acquired dengue fever since the 2011 outbreak on Oahu, when four cases were confirmed.
Dengue is a viral infection spread via mosquitoes that bite an infected person and then carry the virus to the next person.
For more information about dengue fever, contact the Health Department, (808) 974-6001. Contact Civil Defense regarding concerns about mosquito habitat hazards, (808) 935-0031.