Hawaii Department of Health Calls Press Conference Tomorrow on Dengue Fever Outbreak

The Hawaii State Department of Health has called a press conference tomorrow at noon to address the Dengue Fever outbreak.

They have also released a more detailed map that defines potential risk areas:
Dengue Fever Map 1118

Enroll for Medical Coverage by Dec. 15 to Avoid a Break in Coverage

Hawaii State Health Department is encouraging residents to enroll for medical coverage by Dec. 15 to avoid a break in coverage.

Health Insurance

Open enrollment for applying for medical coverage through the HealthCare.gov began on Nov. 1, 2015. During open enrollment, individuals who need medical coverage for 2016 can enroll.

If you are currently enrolled for medical coverage through the Hawaii Health Connector, you will need to reenroll for the 2016 plan year. To avoid a break in coverage you must enroll by Dec. 15, 2015.

You can enroll through HealthCare.gov online or via phone (1-800-318-2596 or TTY 1-855-889-4325). Or if you need in-person assistance, you can work with Kokua through the Hawaii Health Connector.

If you believe you are Medicaid eligible, get started at MyBenefits first.

Umauma Bridge Remains Closed, Unknown When Bridge Will Reopen – Expect Long Delays

The State Highways Department reports that the Umauma Bridge on Highway 19 in the area of the 16 to 17 mile marks in Hamakua remains closed to all traffic.  A detour has been set up through the Old Mamalahoa Highway and motorists are advised to drive with caution and to expect traffic delays.

Umauma Detour

Presently delays of up to 30 minutes can be expected and if possible alternate routes should be used.   It is unknown at this time when the bridge will be reopened.  All other major roadways and highways are open at this time.

72 Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever – Some Schools Will Be Treated this Weekend

The State Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak.  As of 10:30 today the Department of Health has reported 72 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island.  These cases include 62 residents and 10 visitors.

mosquitoes

Dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted or spread by infected mosquitoes and not directly from person to person.  Dengue Fever is not endemic or common to Hawaii. It was likely introduced by a person who contracted the virus in another area of the world and became infectious while in Hawaii.

Because dengue fever is only transmitted by mosquitoes, the Department of Health is spraying and treating areas with high mosquito presence and confirmed cases.  The Department of Health may be conducting spraying at various locations in the Kona, Hilo, and Puna areas today.  In addition, the Department of Health with support from the County of Hawaii and the Department of Education will be conducting preventive spraying or treating of areas around the following school campuses this weekend:

  • Konawaena High, Middle and Elementary Schools
  • Honaunau School
  • Hookena School
  • Hilo High School
  • Hilo Intermediate School
  • Waiakea Intermediate and Elementary Schools

Again, these school campuses are being treated as a preventative measure and based on proximity to confirmed cases in the area.  There are no cases directly related to any of the school facilities or campuses.

Although spraying and treatment of areas is ongoing, the most effective method to reduce the spread and possible elimination of Dengue is to minimize or prevent the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellant and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest.

In addition, persons feeling ill and having a fever should remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.

For additional information on Dengue Fever and preventing the spread of Dengue Fever, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001., Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.

12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival Accepting Submissions

The 12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival presented by ALTRES is in prep phase and is accepting films, art, music, and interested companies!

Kona Surf Film Festival 2016The Festival is Hawaii’s premiere international surf film showcase, running Jan. 30th 2016 from 3:30 – 10pm at the Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Kailua-Kona Hawaii .

The 12th Annual promises to be another awesome year of surf movies, art, live music, and good people.  Submission deadline is Christmas, 2015.  Check the website for more info:www.konasurffilmfestival.org.

Tickets range from $12-$30