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Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 252

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 252.

Mosquito BiteAs of February 9, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 1 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
1 Illness onset 2/1/16
Cases no longer infectious
251 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/29/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
252

Of the confirmed cases, 228 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
207 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/1/16.

As of today, a total of 1143 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

SC Johnson Announces Assistance in Fighting Dengue Fever in Hawaii

Today, SC Johnson announced its donation of 54,000 units of OFF!® insect repellent to the County of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency to help reduce the risk of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne virus.

off

Since the initial outbreak in Hawaii of dengue fever in the fall of 2015, more than 250 cases have been reported as of early February.  In response, SC Johnson partnered with the County of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency to arrange a shipment of 54,000 units of OFF!® insect repellent. This donation will allow for distribution through social service programs in an effort to help protect as many people as possible.

“We are proud to make this donation to support the County of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency in their efforts to protect needy families against the Aedes species of mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus,” said SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson. “We are a family company that’s been protecting families from mosquitoes for decades, so we feel a particular responsibility to help fight the spread of this disease.”

This is the first outbreak of dengue fever in Hawaii since 2011. As of February 8, the Hawaii State Department of Health reported 251 total confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak.

For more information on how to prevent mosquito-borne disease, visit our web site:  scjohnson.com/mosquitoes

About SC Johnson

SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 129-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

Governor Ige’s Statement on Hawai‘i County’s Emergency Proclamation on Dengue Fever Outbreak

Mosquito Bite

The state supports the county’s effort to break the cycle of dengue fever infection and transmission on Hawai‘i Island. Our number one priority is the health and safety of Hawai‘i’s residents and visitors. We will continue to work with county officials on a daily basis.

The state will issue an emergency proclamation if and when conditions meet the following criteria:

  • The dengue outbreak requires additional resources beyond current levels
  • The dengue outbreak has spread to other islands
  • The outbreak has expanded to include zika and other vector borne diseases
  • It is necessary to waive certain laws and regulations
  • The state determines it will need federal assistance

At this time, the state is working to release the State Health Department’s 5 percent budget restriction ($250,000) to fund eight vector control positions, one entomologist and one communications position.

The state previously released another 5 percent ($250,000) restriction so the department could fund costs incurred while responding to the onset of the dengue outbreak.

Governor David Ige

Declaration of Emergency Declared for Hawaii Island Due to Dengue Fever Outbreak

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi made a Declaration of Emergency due the outbreak of Dengue Fever on the Big Island of Hawaii.

To view the declaration click here:  http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/WebLink8/PDF/2p3kvnm3psnzz055cirgyy55/16/Dengue%20Proclamaiton%20Mayors%2002-08-16.pdf

Dengue Declaration of Emergency

As of February 8, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently,  as many as 2 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
2 Illness onset 1/29/16 to 2/1/16
Cases no longer infectious
249 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/28/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
251

Of the confirmed cases, 227 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
206 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/1/16.

As of today, a total of 1124 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 251

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 251:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 8, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently,  as many as 2 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
2 Illness onset 1/29/16 to 2/1/16
Cases no longer infectious
249 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/28/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
251

Of the confirmed cases, 227 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
206 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/1/16.

As of today, a total of 1124 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Schatz, Senate Democrats Urge President Obama To Take Robust & Aggressive Actions to Address the Spread of Zika Virus – Comments on Dengue Fever Outbreak

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) joined 45 Senate Democrats today and released a new letter to President Obama urging a coordinated interagency response plan to address the spread of the Zika virus both at home and abroad.

Mosquito Bite

“As the dengue outbreak continues to impact communities on Hawai‘i Island, we need more aggressive action to contain it and to stop the threat of Zika, another mosquito-borne virus that is devastating dozens of countries around the world,” said Senator Schatz. “By increasing funding for critical government research and response programs, we can make real progress toward mitigating the impact of the Zika virus abroad and preventing its spread to Hawai‘i and the United States.”

The letter calls for the President to take a number of new actions, including taking the Zika virus into consideration as the Administration coordinates, and allocates resources in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY16, and moves forward with the President’s upcoming FY17 budget request, or subsequent amendments. Additionally, Senate Democrats are urging President Obama to:

  • Develop a coordinated interagency response plan to address the Zika virus both at home and abroad;
  • Direct USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to identify key gaps in the international and country-level response in order to best inform our response plan and disseminate, where appropriate, at border crossings and airports;
  • Ensure that federal agencies work with state and local partners to develop a cohesive national strategy for the monitoring, identification, and reporting of domestic Zika infections;
  • Direct HHS and the Department of Homeland Security to develop educational materials to inform travelers regarding the risk of Zika virus exposure;
  • Ramp up research efforts, including at the National Institutes of Health, to better understand the link between the Zika virus, microcephaly, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and other public health impacts and accelerate rapid diagnostic and vaccine development; and
  • Encourage federal agencies to coordinate, collaborate, or share information with their international counterparts.

The Zika Virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti species of mosquitoes, which are also found in the United States. For most, the symptoms of Zika are mild, but when pregnant women become infected, the effects can be devastating. Zika has been linked to microcephaly in developing fetuses, which can lead to below-average head size, developmental difficulties, and brain damage.

The full text of the Senate Democrats’ letter is below:

Dear President Obama:

The ongoing outbreak of the Zika virus requires an urgent and aggressive response from the United States. We are writing to urge you to develop a coordinated interagency response plan to address the spread of the Zika virus both at home and abroad, and protect pregnant women and children. We also recognize that much is still unknown about the Zika virus, and therefore urge you to consider the potential impact the Zika virus will have on the funding needs of the Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) Program at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Services Mosquito and Fly Research Unit, and other key programs in Fiscal Year (FY)17. We believe that a well-coordinated interagency response plan, coupled with strong investments in our research and response programs, is critical to addressing the Zika virus.

The Zika virus is transmitted via bites from the same kind of mosquitoes that carry dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever. For most, the symptoms of Zika are mild, but when pregnant women become infected, there is early evidence its effects can be devastating. Zika has been linked to microcephaly in developing fetuses, which can lead to below-average head size, developmental difficulties, and brain damage. Scientists are also evaluating a possible link between the Zika virus and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare condition that can cause muscle weakness and paralysis. These potential impacts have spurred the World Health Organization to declare the rise in Zika-linked birth defects and neurological conditions a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

In the Americas, it is anticipated that the outbreak could infect up to 4 million people. Because Zika is carried by low-moisture dwelling mosquitos, local transmission is predicted to spread to all countries and territories where the Aedes aegypti is found, including the United States. There is a critical and urgent need for a robust and coordinated response at all levels of government, and it is necessary to enhance efforts to control outbreaks, counter the spread of the disease, and ultimately reduce the potential for outbreaks in the United States.

Investing in the effort to combat the Zika virus abroad is one of the most important things we can do to prevent widespread transmission of the virus at home. The USAID’s EPT Program helps developing countries prevent, detect, and control the outbreak of infectious diseases. The program has been able to successfully use the technical expertise of the CDC in African, Asian, and Latin American countries to combat infectious diseases like Zika. CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) further works to protect against the spread of diseases like the Zika virus both at home and abroad, while USDA’s Agricultural Research Services Mosquito and Fly Research Unit also plays a critical role in developing better means of mosquito detection, monitoring, and control.

We urge you to take the Zika virus into consideration as you coordinate and allocate resources in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY16 and move forward with your upcoming FY17 budget request or subsequent amendments.

At this time, it is also critically important that we take additional steps to respond to the ongoing outbreak and work to prevent additional cases of Zika from occurring in the United States. To meet this challenge we urge you to:

  • Develop a coordinated interagency response plan to address the Zika virus both at home and abroad;
  • Direct USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to identify key gaps in the international and country-level response in order to best inform our response plan and disseminate, where appropriate, at border crossings and airports;
  • Ensure that federal agencies work with state and local partners to develop a cohesive national strategy for the monitoring, identification, and reporting of domestic Zika infections;
  • Direct HHS and the Department of Homeland Security to develop educational materials to inform travelers regarding the risk of Zika virus exposure;
  • Ramp up research efforts, including at the National Institutes of Health, to better understand the link between the Zika virus, microcephaly, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and other public health impacts and accelerate rapid diagnostic and vaccine development; and
  • Encourage federal agencies to coordinate, collaborate, or share information with their international counterparts.

By taking action now, we can make significant progress toward mitigating the impact of the Zika virus abroad and reduce the potential for Zika virus outbreaks in the United States. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Notice – Attorneys Interested in Providing Legal Services to DLNR as Hearing Officer in Thirty Meter Telescope CDUP PERMIT Contested Case

In anticipation of the need for the Board of Land and Natural Resources to hold a  contested case hearing on In Re Petitions Requesting a Contested Case Hearing Re Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) for the Thirty Meter Telescope at the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, Kaohe Mauka, Hamakua District, Island of Hawaiʻi, TMK (3) 4-4-015:009, the Department of Land and Natural Resources now seeks qualified applicants to provide professional legal services as a hearing officer in this potential case which is pending a remand to the Board by the Third Circuit Court of the State.

TMT laser

Qualifications

An applicant must possess the following basic qualifications:

  • Being an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Hawaiʻi and in good standing;
  • Being able to serve with strict impartiality and no conflicts of interest or appearance of conflict;
  • Being available to devote a substantial amount of time in the next six to twelve months; and
  • Willing to accept the prevailing charge rate relevant to the professional service as a hearing officer, as determined by the Department.

Other desirable qualifications include civil litigation experience, practice in administrative law and process, familiarity with government proceedings and procedures, and knowledge of the Hawaii Revised Statutes and Hawaii Administrative Rules administered by the Department.

Submittal Requirements

Qualified parties interested in being considered for selection are invited to submit a letter of interest with a curriculum vitae or resume to:

Department of Land and Natural Resources
Attn: Administrative Proceedings Office
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 130
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Facsimile: (808) 587-0390
E-Mail: DLNR.CO.APO@HAWAII.GOV

Applicants from the same company or law firm must submit separate applications to the Department.  Applications may be submitted by mail, facsimile or electronic mail.  The Department will not be responsible for lost or misdirected mails.

All submittals must be received by the Department or postmarked by Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 4:30 p.m. to be considered.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 250

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 250.

Mosquito Bite

As of February 5, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently,  as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/26/16 to 2/1/16
Cases no longer infectious
247 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/25/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
250

Of the confirmed cases, 226 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
205 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/1/16.

As of today, a total of 1109 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Honolulu Selected for “Local Foods, Local Places” Federal Initiative

On behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 27 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places, and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.

Local Foods Local Places

“Local Foods, Local Places helps people access healthy local food and supports new businesses in neighborhoods that need investment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The program is good for the environment, public health and the economy. By helping bring healthy local food to market and offering new walking and biking options, Local Foods, Local Places can help improve air quality, support local economies, and protect undeveloped green space.”

Honolulu was one of the cities selected in 2016 from EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region:

Honolulu, Hawaii – The Hawaii Community Development Authority will focus their Local Foods, Local Places efforts on plans to identify food-based projects that will spur greater investment and stewardship in the Kakaako Makai community; enhance local food production; integrate food security initiatives with community and transit-oriented development planning; and reduce stormwater runoff and vulnerability to sea level rise.

The selected communities were chosen from more than 300 applicants.

Each Local Foods, Local Places partner community works with a team of experts who help community members recognize local assets and opportunities, set goals for revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods, develop an implementation plan, and identify targeted resources from the participating federal agencies to help implement those plans.

Local Foods, Local Places is a partnership among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority. The initiative was launched in 2014 and has already helped 26 communities make a difference in people’s lives.

Local Food, Local Places is one of the administration’s community-based initiatives in action across the country. In these places federal experts are working side by side with residents and local leaders to create customized solutions; bolstering coordination across agencies and improving how we interact with communities as a ‘one Government’ partner; and relying on valuable data to help inform solutions and evaluate what is working and what is not.

A complete list of communities participating in the Local Food, Local Places Initiative can be found at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places-summary-reports

Updated Map Shows New Risk Areas for Potential Dengue Infection – Spraying at 2 Kona Schools Saturday

An updated map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases has been released:Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

As of 1:00PM today the Department of Health reported 2 additional confirmed cases since yesterday and the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak is at 248. These cases include 224 residents and 24 visitors.

As a proactive and preventative measure, the Department of Health will be conducting spraying or treatment of the Kealakehe Elementary and Intermediate Schools in Kona this Saturday, February 6th. 

 

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 248

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 2 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 248:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 3, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 2 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently,  as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/23/16 to 1/28/16
Cases no longer infectious
245 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/23/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
248

Of the confirmed cases, 224 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
203 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/28/16.

As of today, a total of 1087 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 246

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 2 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 246:

Mosquito BiteAs of February 2, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 2 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently,  as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/23/16 to 1/26/16
Cases no longer infectious
243 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/21/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
246

Of the confirmed cases, 222 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
201 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/25/16.

As of today, a total of 1071 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

VIDEO – Governor Ige Responds to Dengue Fever Outbreak

Ige on DengueThis morning at the State Capital, Governor Ige along with Mayor Kenoi and Hawaii County Civil Defense Administer Daryll Oliveira met this morning and the following video was livestreamed on the Governor’s website:

Recently a letter went out to Maui residents informing them that a case of Dengue Fever was confirmed on that island.

Dengue Fever Case in Maui

Hawaii 9th Least Dependent State on the Gun Industry

According to a recent study, Hawaii is the 9th least dependent state on the gun industry.

With President Barack Obama’s executive orders on gun control and recent changes to state gun legislations, the personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s States Most Dependent on the Gun Industry.

Gun Industry

To determine which states depend most on the arms and ammunitions industry both directly for jobs and political contributions and indirectly through firearm ownership, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight key metrics.

Hawaii’s Dependence on the Gun Industry (1=Most Dependent; 25=Avg.)

  • 47th – Number of Firearms-Industry Jobs per Capita
  • 50th – Average Wages & Benefits in the Firearms Industry
  • 51st – Total Firearms Industry Output per Capita
  • 49th – NICS Background Checks per Capita
  • 29th – Gun-Control Contributions to Congressional Members per Capita
  • 46th – Gun-Rights Contributions to Congressional Members per Capita

For the full report, please visit:
http://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-dependent-on-the-gun-industry/18719/

Source: WalletHub

Hokulea Departs Fernando de Noronha for Natal

After a four-day stop at Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago off the Brazilian coast, Hokulea departed the UNESCO Marine World Heritage site yesterday at 11:00 a.m. Brazil time (3:00 a.m. HST) and is now headed to Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. Note: Fernando de Noronha is eight hours ahead of Hawaii Time. During their stay, crewmembers were able to learn about efforts to protect the marine life and other natural resources of the pristine island.

Hokulea21a

The Hokulea crew is now sailing approximately 241 miles to reach Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, located in northeastern Brazil. The arrival to the coastal city will mark Hokulea’s first visit to the South America continent. The leg will take approximately two days.

Hokulea21c

After stopping in Brazil, Hokulea will continue the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage and stop in several ports in the Caribbean before sailing north and visiting cities along the East Coast of the United States. She is scheduled to arrive in New York City by June 8, 2016 to celebrate World Oceans Day.

Hokulea21b

Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hokulea has sailed more than 20,000 nautical miles and made stops in 11 countries and 46 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world. Along the way, more than 160 volunteer crewmembers have helped to sail Hokulea accompanied by escort vessel Gershon II to spread the message of malama honua (or taking care of Island Earth) by promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, as well as exchanging ideas with the countries she has visited.

Hokulea21d

So far, crew members have connected with over 45,000 people in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius and South Africa. For a midway recap of the Worldwide Voyage, please view http://www.hokulea.com/2015-worldwide-voyage-recap/

Hokulea first set out on the Pacific Ocean in 1975. Since then, she has traveled to multiple countries across the globe, reawakening a Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the process through reviving the traditional art of wayfinding – navigating the sea through means of using natural resources like ocean swells, stars, and wind.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls on Governor David Ige to Declare Hawaiʻi Island Dengue Fever Outbreak a State of Emergency

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today called on Governor David Ige to declare the Hawaiʻi Island dengue fever outbreak a state of emergency and deploy State resources, including the National Guard, to assist with mosquito abatement, public information, clearing, and providing completely free testing for those with suspected symptoms of this incurable disease.

Congresswoman Gabbard met with Hawaii County Civil Defense officials last week.

Congresswoman Gabbard met with Hawaii County Civil Defense officials last week.

“The dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island continues to worsen.  We cannot afford to wait any longer for the aggressive action necessary to combat the spread of this serious disease.  An emergency proclamation from the Governor is long overdue,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who represents the people of Hawaiʻi Island.  “There have already been 242 confirmed cases of Dengue Fever on Hawaiʻi Island, creating a public health emergency affecting our residents and visitors, and Hawaii Island’s economy.  They deserve our state’s full attention and resources to do what it takes to put an end to this outbreak, and prevent it from becoming endemic and spreading to other parts of the island and state.”

On October 21, 2015 the Dengue exposure rate on Hawaiʻi Island was 1 in 185,079.  As of today, 1 out of every 849 residents and approximately 3 out of every 50,000 visitors has contracted dengue fever.  This constitutes an average infection rate of 67 residents and 7 visitors every month since this outbreak began.  Additionally, the same mosquito that carries Dengue Fever is also a carrier of the Zika virus, which is “spreading explosively” according to UN health officials, who are currently considering declaring an international health emergency.

In speaking with Governor Ige and by written correspondence, the congresswoman called for the following action items to be addressed immediately:

1. Completely free and accessible testingfor those who suspect they have symptoms of Dengue Fever. While the cost of the test may be free, residents and visitors are still charged for visits to a physician, nurse, or clinic in order for their blood to be drawn.  This could easily be solved by ensuring there are free access points island-wide, and by deploying state or National Guard medical personnel as a mobile testing unit that can travel to both populated and remote locations across the island, draw blood, and get samples to the lab for expedited results.

2. Allocate resources to the Department of Health for development and execution of a comprehensive public information and public engagement campaign with quality review measures.  Current “Fight the Bite” efforts fall far short of providing residents and visitors with the information they need.

3. Provide a full-time entomologist on Hawaiʻi Islanddedicated to eradication, reduction, and prevention of further spread of the Dengue virus.

4. Allocate resources to hire vector control personnel,purchase more sprayers and other necessary equipment and supplies.

5. Provide free supply and distribution of Ovitraps throughout the community to empower local residents to help prevent the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. World Health Organization report studies have shown that population densities can be reduced below disease-transmission thresholds with sufficiently large numbers of frequently serviced traps.

6. Appoint a Dengue Czarwho can act as the coordinator of efforts with all parties within the state, county, federal, private sector, and community to ensure the objectives are being met.

More than a third of the world’s population live in areas at risk for infection from the Dengue virus, which is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 400 million people are infected annually.  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been meeting with state leaders, Hawaiʻi County officials and Civil Defense, military personnel, experts in the private sector and at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and listening to concerned citizens of the Big Island, working to protect the people of Hawaiʻi from Dengue Fever, a debilitating disease that has no vaccine, treatment, or cure, so that the Aloha State does not remain a part of this worldwide epidemic.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 242

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 242:

Mosquito Bite

As of January 29, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 2 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
2 Illness onset 1/20/16 to 1/21/16
Cases no longer infectious
240 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/18/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
242

Of the confirmed cases, 218 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
197 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/21/16.

As of today, a total of 1018 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Hawaii Attorney General “Fantasy Sports Contests FanDuel and DraftKings” Constitute Illegal Gambling

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin issued a formal advisory opinion today stating that daily fantasy sports contests, such as those run by FanDuel and DraftKings, constitute illegal gambling under existing state laws.

Fan DuelDraft Kings“Gambling generally occurs under Hawaii law when a person stakes or risks something of value upon a game of chance or upon any future contingent event not under the person’s control,” said Chin. “The technology may have changed, but the vice has not.”

Nearly sixty million Americans participate in fantasy sports, with the vast majority playing in a league with friends or colleagues that might be considered “social gambling” which is legal in Hawaii. In contrast, daily fantasy sports contests typically involve competitions between hundreds or thousands of people, are played daily, involve wagers of up to $1,000, and allow each individual multiple entries leading to top prizes of up to $1 million.

“Hawaii is generally recognized to have some of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the country,” said Chin. By statute the Attorney General provides opinions upon questions of law submitted by the Governor, the state legislature or its members, or a state agency head. The Department of the Attorney General is weighing next steps, including civil or criminal enforcement, consistent with its opinion.

The text of Attorney General Opinion 2016-01 is attached.

Hawaii Sanctuary to Remain Focused on Humpback Whales – State Reacts to NOAA Decision

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) has informed the State of Hawaii of its decision to continue the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary as it was first designated by Congress – as a sanctuary to protect humpback whales and their habitat.

Humpback whales off Maui

Humpback whales off Maui

Each winter, Hawaiian waters are home to the largest breeding population of humpback whales in the world. Humpbacks are a flagship species in an ecosystem full of marine mammals, fish, coral, and other valuable marine and cultural resources. The State and NOAA, along with other partners and communities, are working hard to preserve Hawaii’s marine ecosystem for the sustainable use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

“The Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) consistently works to implement an integrated, ecosystem-based approach to management.  We believe strongly that this can only be achieved through partnerships in which each entity builds upon and leverages its unique strengths.  The Sanctuary has done this extraordinarily well with humpback whales for over 20 years and we had hoped that this expertise could be extended to other marine mammals,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.  “Although ultimately the Sanctuary will not have an expanded purpose, we look forward to building upon its accomplishments, as well as highlighting its successes, particularly the Sanctuary’s world-renowned entanglement response program, at the World Conservation Congress coming to Hawaii in September,” continued Case.

“We will continue working with the appropriate divisions within NOAA, as well as communities and ocean users, to build upon the successes of the Sanctuary and better manage all of our protected species. This includes addressing the threat of harassment to spinner dolphins and of toxoplasmosis to Hawaiian monk seals and other marine mammals,” said DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources Administrator Bruce Anderson.

The State of Hawai‘i recognizes the tremendous dedication and commitment of the Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC), which has worked tirelessly throughout the Sanctuary’s Management Plan Review process to guide and advise sanctuary management.  DLNR is eager to continue to partner with and draw on the tremendous depth of expertise of the SAC as the Sanctuary enters this new chapter.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whales National Marine Sanctuary was established by Congress in 1992. It is located from the shoreline to 600 ft. depth off of Maui Nui, including Penguin Bank, and off the north shore of Kauai, the north and south shores of Oahu, and the north Kona coast of Hawai‘i Island. The sanctuary is co-managed by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the State of Hawai‘i through the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Lyman Museum Lecture – Why Early Hawaiians Moved to Mainland

Even before Kamehameha I founded his kingdom, Native Hawaiians were traveling to distant ports and visiting far-off lands. Kanaka labor is credited with helping to settle the northwest coast of North America, from fur trading to gold mining, and Hawaiians also participated in the U.S. Civil War. But what would be sufficiently attractive to draw them away from paradise … and why would some choose to make their new homes permanent?

Hawaii in CaliforniaOn Monday, February 8, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lyman Museum, Hawai‘i Island historian Boyd D. Bond shares this little-known aspect of Hawaiian history.

The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawai`i. Located in historic downtown Hilo at 276 Haili Street, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission to this program is free to Museum members, $3 for nonmembers. First come, first seated. For additional information, call (808) 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.