Hawaii reports two suspected dengue cases in Maui

Hawaii's state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating two suspected dengue fever cases in East Maui in an attempt to prevent the first dengue fever outbreak there in nine years.

The last dengue fever outbreak in Maui County occurred from late 2001 to spring 2002. At least 20 people contracted the painful fever during that outbreak, Maui News reports. Up to 100 more people were suspected of contracting the disease, which was eradicated during the outbreak by a $1.5 million state project.

The symptoms for dengue fever include a sudden onset of fever, eye, joint and muscle pain, severe headaches, minor bleeding and a rash that typically appears in the first 24 to 48 hours. Fever can begin within four to five days after infection and the symptoms may last up to two weeks before recovery.

"I'm hoping it's a few days before they can call it anything, and I hope it's not dengue," Sen. J. Kalani English, a state senator representing East Maui, Upcountry, Molokai and Lanai residents, said, according to Maui News. "You know, they call it the 'bone-crushing disease' because it literally feels like your bones are disintegrating within you."

Effective treatment for dengue fever, for which there is no vaccine or cure, is bed rest, plenty of fluids and acetaminophen or aspirin. No NSAIDS are recommended because they can cause dengue to become a stronger case of dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue, like many tropical illnesses, is carried by mosquitoes.