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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, January 10, 2002

Dengue fever risk to tourists low, state says

Advertiser Staff

The state Health Department says the risk of dengue fever to tourists is low and that visitors claiming they have suffered from the illness have been misinformed.

Since the start of the outbreak last summer, about 50 visitors have asked for testing, but none has tested positive for the illness by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Dr. Paul Effler, state epidemiologist.

Two visitors from California told state health officials that private commercial tests showed they had contracted dengue fever.

Effler said those kinds of tests are generally unreliable.

"People have jumped to the conclusion that dengue is going to tourists," he said.

"In my opinion, some of the commercial tests have not performed well when you compare them to the CDC confirmation tests."