Justin Bieber Continues to Enjoy the Big Island… By Sea & Air

So Justin Bieber continues to have fun here on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Yesterday there were reports that he was on the Kona side of the island on a boat.  He posted the following picture on Instagram that confirmed that rumor!

Bieber Boat
Today he spent some of the time with his entourage touring the island by helicopter.

Bieber Heli 1He my as well use a helicopter since the place he is staying at, Waterfalling Estates, has a helipad!
Bieber Heli 2These pictures are from his Instagram account and not my pictures.  I’m still trying to get a hold of his folks but I doubt they will give me an interview!

Bieber heli 3Justin… if your folks read this… hook a brother up with an interview!

Mahalo!

Humane Society Adds Microchip Clinic in HOVE on First Saturday of Each Month

Hawaii Island Humane Society announces a new monthly Microchip Clinic that is convenient for Kau District residents. The HIHS Microchip Clinic will be available the first Saturday morning of the month in conjunction with the Ocean View Saturday Market.

chippedMicrochipping is permanent pet identification using a safe, simple injection of a microchip beneath the surface of the pet’s skin and between the shoulder blades. Microchipping is similar to a routine shot and no anesthetic is required. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is encoded with a unique identification number.

“Microchip identification can quickly identify lost pets and reunite them with their owners,” said HIHS Executive Director Donna Whitaker. “We are pleased to be able to bring this technology to the residents of Ocean View and the more remote southern areas of our island on a regular monthly schedule.”

The Hawaii Island Humane Society Microchip Clinic will be held on Saturday, August 6 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Ocean View Saturday Market. Cost for the microchipping is $10 per pet. Registration for future free spay neuter appointments will also be available.

Hawaii DOH Cautions Travelers Headed to 2016 Summer Olympic Games About Zika Virus

With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games set to begin at the end of this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is cautioning all travelers, especially Hawaii residents, to take preventive measures against being bitten by mosquitoes while there, because of the ongoing Zika outbreak in that country.

2016 OlympicsThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently has posted a Level 2 Travel Alert, advising travelers to the Olympic Games to practice enhanced precautions while in Brazil. CDC is also recommending that women who are pregnant not attend the Olympics because of the risk Zika poses to a developing fetus. Zika has been linked to cases of microcephaly, a serious birth defect that causes a baby to be born with a smaller than normal sized head because of abnormal brain development, which can result in medical problems and impaired development.

“We wish Hawaii residents going to Brazil for the Olympic Games safe travels, and urge them to heed travel warnings by preparing carefully and doing what they can to prevent mosquito bites,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “If people avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, they will substantially reduce their risks of contracting Zika virus and bringing it back to Hawaii. We don’t have locally transmitted Zika here, and we must do whatever we can to keep it that way.”

Travelers returning to Hawaii from areas affected by Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses are advised that if they become ill within two weeks of returning home, they should consult and be assessed by their healthcare provider.

While there have been no cases among persons who have been infected by mosquitoes in Hawaii, our state has been identified as a high risk area for experiencing local Zika spread because of our year-round warm temperatures and consistently high travel rates, both into and out of the state. Florida is also identified as a high-risk state for local Zika transmission, and recently confirmed its first cases of locally-acquired Zika. These cases are the first instances of locally transmitted Zika in the United States.

Local mosquitoes can become infected when they bite an infected human. Active local transmission begins when infected local mosquitoes infect the humans they bite. Zika can also be spread from an infected pregnant woman to her unborn child before or during birth and from an infected person to their sexual partners.

To protect against contracting Zika, especially during travel to Brazil for the Olympics, or other locations with local mosquito-borne transmission, DOH recommends the following precautions:

  • Apply EPA-registered insect repellent containing 20-30 percent DEET, especially if outdoors.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as light-colored long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes.
  • Avoid activities outdoors at sunrise and sunset when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Avoid areas with mosquitoes, such as shady, damp locations or standing water.

For travel notices and information related to Zika, visit the CDC’s Zika Travel Information page at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information. For more information about Zika virus, visit DOH’s Disease Outbreak and Control Division’s website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/zika_virus/. Additional resources about DOH’s efforts to raise awareness about mosquito-borne disease prevention in Hawaii can be located at FightTheBiteHawaii.com.

Hawaii Department of Health Awarded $3.7 Million to Support Epidemiological and Laboratory Activities

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has been awarded $3.7 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support infectious diseases epidemiological and laboratory activities in the state. The funding is being provided through the CDC’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Disease Cooperative Agreement (ELC).

Mosquito Bite

In addition to funding vital ongoing infectious disease surveillance and investigation for areas such as foodborne disease, flu, and healthcare-associated infections, the ELC award will provide increased support in the area of arboviral disease (e.g., dengue, Zika, chikungunya) and critical new resources to address growing concerns presented by general antimicrobial resistance and specifically, antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea and chlamydia.

“These new funds will help in many critical areas of disease investigation, including providing support for our current Hepatitis A outbreak,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “We’re grateful for this recognition and generous grant from CDC, and will work to ensure that these new funds translate to sustainable efforts to protect our residents and visitors in Hawaii.”

Of the approximately $3.7 million awarded, ELC funding will focus on areas including:

  • $1,062,000 to support Hawaii’s efforts to protect the state from Zika and other arbovirus diseases such as chikungunya and dengue. ELC funds will be used to augment epidemiologic surveillance and investigation, enhance mosquito monitoring, and provide supplies and support to the State Laboratories Division for arbovirus testing.
  • $2,711,149 to support other ELC efforts, including: building capacity to address antimicrobial resistant gonorrhea and chlamydia concerns, increasing laboratory capacity for antimicrobial resistance detection and response infrastructure, strengthening flu surveillance and foodborne surveillance and response capacity, increasing health information systems capacity, and other ELC activities.

“The funding of this award will greatly boost our efforts to protect our community against the potential introduction of Zika virus and many other infectious diseases,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “By building our capacity to find and stop disease outbreaks we increase our ability to help save lives.”

Dr. Chris Whelen, State Laboratories Division administrator added, “We are grateful to the CDC ELC program, and very excited about expanding the role of the State Laboratories in combating drug resistant infectious diseases.”

The Department of Health’s Disease Outbreak Control, Environmental Health Services, Family Health Services, Communicable Diseases and Public Health Nursing, and State Laboratories Divisions are working jointly across the department and with partners throughout the state to assure a comprehensive Zika prevention strategy and response plan. The ELC funding in addition to grants through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement and the Hawaii Birth Defects Surveillance, Intervention, and Follow-up for Zika Virus Grant will further support these efforts to protect public health.

Information on Zika virus can be found at the Department of Health’s Zika webpage at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/zika_virus/.

For more information on the ELC program, go to http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dpei/epidemiology-laboratory-capacity.html.

Hepatitis A Cases Identified in Chili’s Kapolei Food Service Employee and Hawaiian Airlines Flight Attendant

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is continuing its investigation of a hepatitis A outbreak on the island of Oahu and has confirmed two new cases in a food service employee at Chili’s restaurant located at 590 Farrington Highway in Kapolei, and a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant.

Hep Hawaiian“At this time, no infections have been linked to exposure at these businesses and they are not sources of the outbreak,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “We are alerting the public only as a precaution; the risk of transmission is extremely low and these businesses are working with us to help prevent potentially new cases in our community.”

Although it is not a food service establishment, Hawaiian Airlines has been named because the infected crew member served inflight food and beverages to passengers. Hawaiian Airlines customers may go to www.hawaiianairlines.com/hepatitisA for detailed information on affected flights and other support available.

“The most infectious period for this disease may be as much as two weeks before the onset of symptoms — before the individual even knows he or she is sick,” Park added. “The public’s health is our main concern, and we feel it is important to equip people with this information so they may work with their healthcare providers to protect their health.”

Persons who consumed food or beverage products from these businesses during the identified periods may have been exposed to the disease and are recommended to:

  1. Contact their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG), which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within two weeks after exposure.
  2. Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
  3. Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
  4. Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.

To help prevent the spread of disease during the investigation, the public is encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers about vaccination. A statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

As of July 26, the current number of hepatitis A cases linked to the outbreak is 93. This number is updated weekly on Wednesday and posted at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes. Individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

For the complete list of food service establishments that have had employees diagnosed with hepatitis A infection, visithttp://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.

For additional information about hepatitis A go to http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.