Disease Investigation Branch


Infectious diseases are diseases and conditions that are transmitted from one individual to another from a variety of disease-causing agents. The Disease Investigation Branch (DIB), located within the Disease Outbreak Control Division (DOCD), conducts investigation, surveillance, prevention, and control of general communicable diseases of public health importance. DIB staff monitors incoming disease reports for occurrence of unusual or rare diseases, disease clusters, and outbreaks in the community.

Should you have any questions or would like to report an infectious disease, please contact DIB by phone:

  • Oahu (Disease Investigation Branch) (808) 586-8362
  • Maui District Health Office (808) 984-8213
  • Kauai District Health Office (808) 241-3563
  • Big Island District Health Office (Hilo) (808) 933-0912
  • Big Island District Health Office (Kona) (808) 322-4877
  • After hours on Oahu (808) 566-5049
  • After hours on neighbor islands (800) 360-2575 (toll free)

Thank you for visiting us and help in protecting the health of our residents.


January 2016

HDOH confirms past Zika infection in baby born with microcephaly

 The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) has received confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of past Zika virus infection in a baby recently born with microcephaly on Oahu.  The mother likely had Zika infection when she was residing abroad in May 2015.  Neither the baby nor the mother are infectious, and there was never a risk of transmission in Hawaii.

To date, no cases of Zika virus have been locally acquired.  HDOH continues to urge all travelers and Hawaii residents to help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases by eliminating mosquito breeding sites and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

For more information:

HDOH News Release: Hawaii Dept. of Health Receives Confirmation of Zika Infection in Baby Born with Microcephaly

WHO Declares Public Health Emergency of International Concern: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/1st-emergency-committee-zika/en/

For more information on Zika virus disease, go to http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

For Pregnant Women: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html  

For Zika Travel Information: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information

For Health Care Providers: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/hc-providers/index.html

Help Control Mosquitoes that Spread Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika Viruses (pdf):  http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/control_mosquitoes_chikv_denv_zika.pdf


November 2015

HDOH investigates cluster of dengue fever on the Big Island

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is currently investigating a cluster of locally-acquired cases of dengue fever on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Dengue is not endemic in Hawaii, however it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. This is the first cluster of locally-acquired dengue fever since the 2011 outbreak on Oahu.

For more information on dengue fever, click here.

August 2015

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak that had been occurring in the Republic of Korea has been brought under control according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The last case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection reported by the Republic of Korea was on July 4, 2015; on July 27, 2015 all remaining case contacts being held in quarantine were released with no symptomatic individuals identified. In total, there have been 186 confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection in Korea with 36 deaths. Although the MERS outbreak in the Republic of Korea has abated, there continues to be new cases reported elsewhere, almost entirely all in individuals with a history of travel within the Arabian Peninsula.

The Hawaii Department of Health will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.

For more information on MERS-CoV, please go to: MERS-CoV


February 2015

Multistate Measles Outbreak Associated with Travel to Disneyland

As of January 30, 2015, 102 people from 14 states have been reported as having measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing outbreak linked to visits to Disneyland Resort Theme Parks in Orange County, CA. Cases associated with the California outbreak have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico, and other suspect cases are under investigation. The majority of cases linked to this outbreak were unvaccinated.

Measles is highly contagious but is a vaccine-preventable disease. This outbreak serves as an important reminder for everyone to keep up-to-date on their immunizations.  For more information, visit: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/home/imm/measles/.


October 2014

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Following a disease investigation, on October 2, 2014 the Hawaii State Department of Health (HDOH) determined that a patient who was being kept in isolation at a Honolulu hospital did not have Ebola infection. As of October 24, 2014, there have been four confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States. A travel related case that was diagnosed in Dallas, Texas on  September 30, 2014, and passed away October 8, 2014, two nurses that provided care to the original patient, confirmed on October 12, 2014 and on October 15, 2014 and a volunteer returning from Guinea diagnosed in New York City on October 23, 2014.

HDOH continues to closely monitor the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the recent cases in Texas and New York City, and is working with state, local, federal, and community partners in Hawaii to make sure all involved are informed and prepared in the event of a possible case of Ebola infection.

For more information, go here: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)

Recently, hospitals in Missouri and Chicago, IL, have reported higher numbers of children with severe respiratory illness than usual for this time of year and have found EV-D68 in a large number of the children. Other states have also reported cases of EV-D68 in patients, but because it is difficult to define the baseline level of EV-D68 infections in states (EV-D68 is not a reportable illness, and often when an enterovirus infection is found, the specific type is not identified) it is not clear yet if there is an increase in EV-D68 activity in other states as well.

As of this time, HDOH has not identified any issues relating to EV-D68 impacting Hawaii; however, HDOH will continue to closely monitor the situation.

For more information on EV-D68, go here:


September 2014

Protecting yourself from respiratory illnesses

Some states are reporting clusters of severe respiratory illness among children caused by enterovirus D68. Enteroviruses are very common viruses, some types of which can cause respiratory illness with fever. To date, Hawaii has not seen severe respiratory illness activity like that occurring now in other states. The best way to help protect yourself from this and other respiratory illnesses is to:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid close contact, such as touching and shaking hands, with people who are sick, and
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs
  • Stay home when you are sick

Dr. Sarah Park, Hawaii state epidemiologist, gives facts on Enterovirus in this Hawaii News Now interview. Learn some simple-but-highly-effective ways to help you prevent from getting sick. View the newslink: ( http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/26499643/doctor-quells-growing-health-concerns)

Learn more about EV-D68: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/EV-D68.html


February 2014

DOH continues to investigate measles cases on Oahu

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) continues to investigate measles cases on Oahu. The initial case involved an Oahu infant who had contracted the disease while in the Philippines.

DOH has released two medical advisories to alert healthcare providers about measles disease in our community.  DOH staff continue to work closely with healthcare providers and facilities as well as the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Honolulu Quarantine Station to identify and notify persons who may have been exposed.

The best way to prevent measles is to get vaccinated.  The Department of Health is asking everyone to check their immunization status and contact their healthcare provider if they need to be vaccinated.

Confirmed Measles Case on Oahu

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) is investigating a case of measles involving an Oahu infant who had contracted the disease while in the Philippines. The child is hospitalized and recovering, but was infectious while traveling back to Honolulu and during visits to healthcare providers.

Measles is a highly contagious disease. The best way to prevent measles is to get vaccinated. DOH is encouraging everyone to check their immunization status and contact their healthcare provider if they need to be vaccinated. People who suspect they have measles should call their doctor right away and isolate themselves from other people to help contain the spread of illness.  Read More

Take Precautions for Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis spreads through freshwater ponds, streams, puddles, even wet soil. During this rainy season and throughout the year, the Hawaii State Department of Health urges you to avoid swimming or wading in freshwater, especially if you have open cuts or sores. Read More