Dengue fever outbreak and Zika virus – State of emergency in Hawaii


Hawaii has more than 250 confirmed cases of dengue fever.

No cases of the Zika virus have been found yet but there’s concern that the islands could be at risk because mosquitoes that can carry dengue fever also can carry the Zika virus.

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This is the reason why Hawaii Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency to fight mosquito borne illnesses including dengue fever and the Zika virus.

The emergency proclamation could help the state acquire more money to control outbreaks. It will also authorize competent partners to take care of mosquitoes even on a property that someone is refusing, because it is a public health emergency.

Hawaii is rushing to build up its mosquito control staff after a December report from the Centers for Disease Control highlighted deficiencies in the state’s vector control department. The state slashed its mosquito control and entomology staff during the economic downturn, from 56 employees in 2009 to 25 positions in 2016.

Officials stressed that Hawaii is still a safe place to visit. No travel advisories have been issued about Hawaii, and tourism is off to a strong start in 2016.

And there’s no reason to be alarmed or to alter your traveling plans.

But…There are active Zika outbreaks on Pacific Islands including American Samoa. Flights between American Samoa and Hawaii run several times per week.

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