Sand Island was known as Quarantine Island during the nineteenth century when it was used to quarantine ships believed to hold contagious diseases. Nonetheless, bubonic plague (aka Yersinia pestis) reached Chinatown in December, 1899. Next to the Pearl Harbor attack, that outbreak of plague was the greatest public-safety disaster in Hawaiian history.
With no crematory in Honolulu, the bodies of the first several plague victims were burned in a spare furnace at Honolulu Iron Works. Within a few days, Iron Works employees constructed a crematorium on Quarantine Island for disposing of the dead. At the time, Quarantine Island was a reeking sand bar surrounded by stagnant salt-water flats, a "wide swamp, filled with every kind of objectionable refuse, including the decaying bodies of animals," observed the Hawaiian Star newspaper.
In an effort to contain the epidemic, the government started a series of controlled burns. When one of these fires got out of hand on January 20, 1900, the result was the Great Chinatown Fire, which destroyed almost all of Chinatown.
An exact number of victims from that outbreak isn't known. According to a report published some time later, 337 people in Hawaii were known to have contracted bubonic plague. Of these, 34 survived, a mortality rate of 90 percent.
The last known human case of bubonic plague in the islands was in 1947 in Kamuela. Vector-control authorities continue to routinely test for plague along Honolulu's waterfront. They have just notified the Health Department that another outbreak is imminent unless you locate the source as soon as possible, and make sure it stays quarantined!
The source of this contagion is currently in hiding in hopes of avoiding capture. The following is your only clue to its location: ravfblwncwvnmabecrugbaqncwzpbjwnmvkzwamfgjkqardeljzxblbwmhflbjwngrvkmimnuijl