With the Department of Health of Hawaii confirming two locally-acquired dengue fever cases in the state, two video bloggers have decided to share their own struggles dealing with the tropical disease to help raise public awareness.
Allie Wesenberg and Charles Trippy feature prominently on an ongoing web series known as "Internet Killed Television" on the YouTube channel CTFxC.
For the past seven years, the channel, which caters to more than 1.5 million subscribers, has been uploading adventure clips of the duo taken in different parts of the world.
On one of their recent trips dated on Oct.13, Wesenberg and Trippy visited several popular spots in Hawaii, including South Kona's Honaunau, the Volcanoes National Park and South Point.
However, by the time they got back from their Big Island trip, Wesenberg suddenly fell ill and was taken to the hospital on Oct. 22.
While Trippy avoided becoming sick himself and his partner Wesenberg was able to make a full recovery from the illness, the video blogging duo said some of the tourists they met while in Hawaii also became sick.
"This thing Allie has – or we think she might have – is called dengue fever," Trippy said.
"We've been talking to the Hawaiian health department and they're kind of like helping us right now."
The two YouTubers have since uploaded videos of Wesenberg's road to recovery on CTFxC.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dengue fever is an illness brought on by four closely related viruses designated as DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3 and DENV 4. All of these viruses are transmitted through mosquito bites on humans.
In the West, the mosquito species typically associated with the dengue virus is the Aedes aegypti. During the Hawaiian dengue outbreak in 2001, however, the disease was spread by another mosquito known as Aedes albopictus.
The CDC estimates that there are more than 100 million people falling victim to the dengue virus all over the world each year.
People infected with the dengue virus become ill within five to six days after getting bitten by the carrier mosquito. Symptoms of the disease include severe headaches, rash, fever and body pains. Some patients also develop minor bleeding as a consequence of the infection.
Dengue sufferers typically make a full recovery within one to two weeks.
While state officials have yet to confirm any potential connection between ongoing dengue investigations and the CTFxC videos, a representative from the health department of Hawaii has said they will have to review the videos first before providing any statements regarding the situation.