YouTube Star's Dengue Fever Infection in Hawaii Highlights Dangers of Tropical Disease

Hawaii officials announced they are investigating an outbreak of Dengue fever.

ByABC News
November 3, 2015, 6:12 PM

— -- A pair of YouTube stars unintentionally became the face of an outbreak of a dangerous tropical disease after one of them was diagnosed with dengue fever.

Hawaii health officials announced that at least 10 people have been infected with the tropical disease, also called "bone break fever" for the painful symptoms.

YouTube stars Charles Trippy and Allie Wesenberg visited Hawaii for vacation, but they said the trip ended painfully after Wesenberg came down with a mysterious illness that turned out to be dengue fever.

Trippy updated fans with Wesenberg's progress before explaining that doctors finally diagnosed her with the tropical disease.

"Started to see all these crazy side effects," Wesenberg said in a video of her early symptoms. "I was here and my body started to ache. ... My bones hurt, it was awful."

I think its pretty obvious @AllieWess cant come as expected which sucks really bad, this hawaii trip trip taught me never to take a vacation

Charles Trippy (@CharlesTrippy) October 29, 2015

Trippy is know for his daily vlogs and has done a vlog every day for 7 years. The channel has 1.5 million subscribers.

Dengue fever is caused by a virus that can be spread to humans from mosquitoes. Every year, 100 million cases of the disease are reported worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding in the gums or nose. Since there is no cure, patients are given supportive care to help them deal with the painful symptoms.

Wesenberg shared the scary story of her infection, saying the virus was so painful she felt pain down her entire leg.

"I’ll be real honest with you, I seriously thought I was going to die," Wesenberg said of having the virus. "I’m not kidding you when I say that because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me."

Wesenberg and Trippy did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

The couple said Wesenberg spent six days in the hospital before being released and she had to wear a mask because the virus had weakened her immune system.

The infections occurred on the big island of Hawaii, state Department of Health officials said, noting they are asking local doctors to report anyone with Dengue symptoms.

“Although dengue is not endemic to Hawaii, we do have the mosquito species capable of transmitting the disease,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said. “It’s likely an infected traveler infected the local mosquito population, which led to this cluster, so we want the public to be aware of this mosquito-borne disease and the steps they can take to prevent infection.”

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said one concern for health officials is stopping the outbreak before it becomes endemic or "native" to Hawaii.

"That’s a real concern," Schaffner told ABC News. "People are concerned that the local mosquitoes can bite the folks with dengue and then set up a local cycle."

Schaffner said it's likely that an infected traveler brought it to Hawaii and that mosquitoes may have bit that person before infecting the others.

"The world is getting smaller and people are affected abroad and not yet ill. ... They become ill when they’re here," he explained. "We just realize that the whole world is one small neighborhood."

Trippy is know for his daily vlogs and has done a vlog every day for 7 years. The channel has 1.5 million subscribers.

Dengue fever is caused by a virus that can be spread to humans from mosquitoes. Every year, 100 million cases of the disease are reported worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding in the gums or nose. Since there is no cure, patients are given supportive care to help them deal with the painful symptoms.

Wesenberg shared the scary story of her infection, saying the virus was so painful she felt pain down her entire leg.

\"I’ll be real honest with you, I seriously thought I was going to die,\" Wesenberg said of having the virus. \"I’m not kidding you when I say that because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.\"

Wesenberg and Trippy did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

The couple said Wesenberg spent six days in the hospital before being released and she had to wear a mask because the virus had weakened her immune system.

The infections occurred on the big island of Hawaii, state Department of Health officials said, noting they are asking local doctors to report anyone with Dengue symptoms.

“Although dengue is not endemic to Hawaii, we do have the mosquito species capable of transmitting the disease,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said. “It’s likely an infected traveler infected the local mosquito population, which led to this cluster, so we want the public to be aware of this mosquito-borne disease and the steps they can take to prevent infection.”

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said one concern for health officials is stopping the outbreak before it becomes endemic or \"native\" to Hawaii.

\"That’s a real concern,\" Schaffner told ABC News. \"People are concerned that the local mosquitoes can bite the folks with dengue and then set up a local cycle.\"

Schaffner said it's likely that an infected traveler brought it to Hawaii and that mosquitoes may have bit that person before infecting the others.

\"The world is getting smaller and people are affected abroad and not yet ill. ... They become ill when they’re here,\" he explained. \"We just realize that the whole world is one small neighborhood.\"

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