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) 586-4586
- 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.
IN THE NEWS:
Multistate Measles Outbreak Associated with Travel to Disneyland
As of January 21, 2015, the California Department of Public Health has identified 42 confirmed cases of measles in their state with epidemiologic links to either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park in Orange County. Additional confirmed cases have been reported in Washington, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, and Mexico, and other suspect cases are under investigation. The majority of cases in California 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/.
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:
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
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