An imported case of dengue fever has been reported on Maui, but the state Department of Health says there have been no additional cases so far.
Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the Health Department, said Tuesday that the Haiku resident traveled to an international destination. Some of the traveler's companions got ill as well, but she did not know their places of residence.
The Health Department became aware of the case when a positive test for the disease was reported by the person's physician, said Okubo, who gave no additional identifying information about the person afflicted.
An investigation by Health Department officials, which involved talking to people in neighboring areas, turned up no additional cases, Okubo said. Health officials also interviewed the resident afflicted with the disease.
The investigation continues because it is still possible for cases to turn up, she said.
The disease is transmitted through mosquitoes, who retain the virus in their bodies after biting an afflicted person. The disease is found in tropic and subtropic regions, including the Indonesian archipelago to northeastern Australia, South and Central America, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and parts of the Caribbean, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine website.
The Health Department receives reports from "time to time" of imported cases of dengue, Okubo said. The last major outbreak of dengue fever on Maui occurred in 2001-02 with more than 100 suspected cases in East Maui.
Symptoms include a sudden high fever, often as high as 104 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, four to seven days after the infection, the U.S. National Library of Medicine website said. Other symptoms include a flat, red rash and increased skin sensitivity.
Maui has areas with lots of mosquitoes so these imported cases are a concern, she said.
"We always recommend that people take steps to reduce mosquito and mosquito breeding," Okubo said.
That includes checking old tires and objects that collect water. All it takes is a tablespoon of water to breed mosquitoes, she said.
The Health Department will notify the public if there is a spread of the disease, Okubo said.