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Video – How the Hawaii Department of Health Investigates Dengue Fever

Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) epidemiology specialist and field investigator Joe Elm gives an overview of the steps taken in a dengue fever investigation.

Presentation – Understanding the Dynamics of Human Trafficking in Hawaii

The Zonta Club of Hilo is hosting a presentation by Kathy Xian, Executive Director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, on understanding the dynamics of human trafficking in Hawaii on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 at the Hilo Women’s Club located at 7 Lele Street from 5:30 – 7:30.

The free, public presentation is part of the Zonta Says NO 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence—an international campaign that aims to inspire action and end violence against women and girls around the world.

16 Days of Activism kicked off on Nov. 25 (International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women) and ends on Dec. 10 (Human Rights Day).

  • WHO: Kathryn Xian, Executive Director of The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS)
  • WHAT: “Understanding the Dynamics of Human Trafficking in Hawaii” Presentation

kathy xian

NOTE: Presentation is free and open to the public. Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, and Zonta Says NO Hilo campaign chair, Ashley Kierkiewicz, will be present and available for remarks.

In addition, Zonta Hilo has teamed up with local businesses to host shoe displays geared towards increasing awareness of gender-based violence. Each display includes a pair of shoes, “Who will be next?” poster, domestic violence survivor quote and resource cards. To date, 12 businesses have agreed to host a display for the duration of the 16 Days of Activism. A limited number of displays are left; interested individuals should contact Ashley Kierkiewicz at (808) 989-4004 or by emailing alk@hastingsandpleadwell.com.

Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever Rises to 107 on the Big Island of Hawaii

As of November 26, 2015*:

Hawaii Island residents 93
Visitors 14
Confirmed cases, TOTAL 107

Of the confirmed cases, 93 are Hawaii residents and 14 are visitors.
83 cases have been adults; twenty-four have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 11/18/15.

Mosquito Bite

As of today, a total of 230 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated November 25, 2015)

County Council to Hold Special Meeting to Discuss Dengue Fever Outbreak

A special County Council meeting to discuss the Dengue Fever Outbreak will take place on December 2, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at the Council Chambers in Hilo at 25 Aupuni Street.

Mosquito Bite

Public testimony will be allowed directly after presentations from the following:

  • Hawai‘i County Civil Defense
  • Office of the Governor
  • Hawai‘i State House of Representatives
  • Hawai‘i State Senate
  • State Department of Health

Public attendance will be available at:

  • Kona Council Office, West Hawai‘i Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona
  • Waimea Council Office, Holomua Center, 64-1067 Māmalahoa Highway, Suite 5, Waimea
  • Conference Room adjacent to Hisaoka Gymnasium, Kamehameha Park Complex, 54-382 Kamehameha Park Road, Kapaau
  • Nā‘ālehu State Office Building, 95-5669 Māmalahoa Highway, Nā‘ālehu
  • Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility, 15-2710 Kauhale Street.

Live stream viewing will be available by using this link:  http://hawaiicounty.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=1

93 Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever – More Community Meetings Scheduled

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Tuesday November 24th at 2:15PM.

The State Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak. As of 10:00 this morning the Department of Health has reported 93 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island. These cases include 80 residents and 13 visitors.

Mosquito Bite

Community Information Meetings on the Dengue outbreak will be conducted at the following locations:

  • Tonight at 6:30 PM at the Mountain View School Cafeteria
  • Friday November 27th at 6:00PM at the Ocean View Community Center
  • Monday November 30th at 6:00PM at the Waimea Middle School Cafeteria
  • Tuesday December 1st at 6:30PM at the Kohala High School Cafeteria
  • Thursday December 3rd at 6:30 at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria

Worldwide Travel Alert Issued by U.S. State Department

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats. Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions.  These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.  This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.

Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq.  Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis.  Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services.  In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali.  ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation.  Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places.  Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.  U.S. citizens should monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.  Persons with specific safety concerns should contact local law enforcement authorities who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.  U.S. citizens should:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Foreign governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attacks, and some have made official declarations regarding heightened threat conditions.  Authorities continue to conduct raids and disrupt terror plots.  We continue to work closely with our allies on the threat from international terrorism.  Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.

Dengue Fever Update – 92 Confirmed Cases, 143 Potential Cases Excluded

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a cluster of locally-acquired cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island. Dengue is not endemic to Hawaii. However, it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. This is the first cluster of locally-acquired dengue fever since the 2011 outbreak on Oahu.

The mosquitoes that can transmit dengue fever

The mosquitoes that can transmit dengue fever

As of November 23, 2015*:

Hawaii Island residents 79
Visitors 13
Confirmed cases, TOTAL 92

Of the confirmed cases, 79 are Hawaii residents and 13 are visitors.
70 cases have been adults; twenty-tw0 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 11/17/15.

As of today, a total of 143 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

For a map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases, click HERE**. (Updated November 18, 2015)

HDOH continues to routinely monitor for cases of imported dengue infection on ALL islands and will continue to have Vector Control perform mosquito site assessments and abatement as needed.  Since the beginning of our current investigation on Hawaii island, one imported dengue fever case has been confirmed (on Oahu). This case is not associated with the Hawaii island investigation.

Dengue Fever and Mosquitoes — Information and Resources

Fight the Bite Fact Sheet
Fight the Bite Flyer
Frequently Asked Questions (11/18/2015)
Letter to Hawaii Island Residents and Visitors
Bug Off! Using Mosquito Repellants
Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites (11”x17”)
CDC Mosquito Control

Dengue Fever Brochures


Call Aloha United Way 2-1-1 for general information about dengue fever and the current Big Island dengue investigation.

To report a suspect case, contact:

  • On the Big Island: 808-974-6001 (East Hawaii) or 808-322-4880 (West Hawaii)
  • On other islands: DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division at 808-586-4586.

To report mosquito concerns, contact:

  • On the Big Island: 808-974-6001 (East Hawaii) or 808-322-4880 (West Hawaii)
  • On Oahu: 808-586-8021, on Maui: 808-873-3560, on Kauai: 808-241-3306

If you are ill and are worried that you might have dengue fever, contact your healthcare provider.

Clinicians: for updates go to http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/updates-and-resources-for-clinicians/

*Updates to case counts, when available, will be posted Monday-Friday by 1:00 p.m. HST

**Updates to the map, when available, will be posted Wednesday by 1:00 p.m. HST

DCCA Consumer Alert: Starwood Data Breach – Hawaii Hotels Affected

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) is encouraging consumers who may have dined or shopped at any of the 54 locations identified by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. to protect themselves from potential credit card fraud.

Starwood made a list of the affected hotels, along with other information, available at www.starwoodhotels.com/paymentcardsecuritynotice. Affected Hawaii locations include: Moana Surfrider; Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa; Sheraton Waikiki; The Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas; The Westin Maui Resort & Spa; and, The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas.

Click to view letter from Starwood President

Click to view letter from Starwood President

“We strongly encourage anyone who has used a credit or debit card to purchase food, drinks, or souvenirs at a Starwood property to check the list of hotels and identified dates of the data breaches,” said DCCA Director Catherine Awakuni Colόn. “According to Starwood, the information compromised could be used to make fraudulent charges on credit and debit cards. Everyone should make it a habit to check your monthly statements and annual credit report.”

DCCA has information on how to protect yourself following a security breach at http://cca.hawaii.gov/identity-theft-information/. This website includes links to sample forms and letters for victims of identity theft to help with the recovery process.

DCCA also partnered with the Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Health to offer guidance on how to avoid fraud and common scams in the Hawaii’s Fraud Prevention & Resource Guide available at http://cca.hawaii.gov/sec/files/2015/10/Fraud-Guide-2.pdf. Tips from the guide on how to protect yourself from credit card fraud include:

  • Keep a record of your account numbers, expiration dates, and phone number and address of the card issuer in a secure place.
  • Save receipts to compare with billing statements. Destroy them when no longer needed.
  • Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly. Report questionable charges immediately and preferably in writing to the card company.

If you think your credit or debit card information may have been compromised in the Starwood data breach call Starwood at 1-855-270-9179 Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST.

Pictures of the Two Types of Mosquitoes That Can Transmit Dengue Fever

The following pictures were released by the Hawaii Department of Health Department depicting the two types of mosquitoes capable of carrying dengue fever… the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (aka Asian Tiger Mosquito) mosquito:

Top - aedes aegypti Bottom - aedes albopictus

Top – aedes aegypti and Bottom – aedes albopictus

Hawaii Lawmakers to Hold Informational Briefing on Dengue Fever Outbreak

Tomorrow at 10:0am at the State Capital in conference room 329, the Hawaii State Legislature House Committee on Health and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health will hold an informational briefing to receive an update on the status of the current dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii island and the coordinated efforts of the Department of Health and other governmental agencies to treat, monitor, and prevent further transmission of dengue fever.


Invitees to this informational briefing are:

  • Director Virginia Pressler, M.D., Department of Health
  • Sarah Y. Park, M.D., Chief & State Epidemiologist, Disease Outbreak Control Division
  • Chief Darryl Oliveira, Civil Defense Administrator, Civil Defense Agency, County of Hawaii (via telephone) & designated representatives.

The hearing will be aired live on Oahu channel 55 and broadcasted live to the neighbor islands on their local public access stations.  It will also be streamed online at www.olelo.org.

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

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.


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.

New Lava Flow Map Shows Recent Changes to East Rift Zone

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on October 23 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on November 12 is shown in red. Not all changes at the northern edge of the flow in the forest were mapped due to poor weather and visibility. The yellow lines show the active lava tube system. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Navy Rethinks Pacific Training that Endangers Whales, Dolphins and Other Marine Life

The US Navy today said it plans to prepare a new environmental impact statement for training and testing exercises in the Pacific Ocean from December 2018 onward, including the use of sonar and explosives that threaten widespread harm to whales, dolphins, other marine mammals and imperiled sea turtles. The move follows a March 31 federal court ruling that the Navy illegally failed to consider restricting military exercises in biologically important areas within the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Study Area to reduce harm to marine mammals.

USS Lake Erie

“The Navy doesn’t need to blow up breeding areas or blast migrating whales with sonar so we’re glad they’re taking a closer look at this critical issue,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Navy doesn’t need continuous access to every square inch of the Pacific. It’s a big ocean, and we need protections for the areas that are particularly important for whales and dolphins.”

The Navy’s current five-year training plan was overturned after a legal challenge in federal court by Earthjustice, representing Conservation Council for Hawai‘i, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Ocean Mammal Institute. In a September 2015 settlement, the Navy agreed to put important habitat for numerous marine mammal populations off-limits to dangerous, mid-frequency sonar training and testing and the use of powerful explosives during the remainder of the five-year plan, which expires in December 2018.

“The science is clear.  To avoid permanent injuries and death to whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, it is vital to keep Navy sonar and explosives out of the areas these animals need for essential activities like feeding, resting and caring for their young,” explained Earthjustice attorney David Henkin, who represented the conservation groups in the federal court case.  “When it voluntarily agreed to the settlement, the Navy made clear that it can both perform its mission and stay out of important marine mammal habitat.”

“We urge the public to get involved and tell the Navy its new study needs to examine ways to keep destructive training out of vital marine mammal habitat,” said Marjorie Ziegler, executive director of Conservation Council for Hawai‘i.

The public comment period on the new environmental impact statement ends January 12, 2016. The public can submit comments online at http://www.hstteis.com. The public can also attend one of three scoping meetings: December 1 in San Diego, CA; December 3 on Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i; and December 5 in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Despite the March ruling and September settlement, the Navy continues to conduct military exercises that can injure and kill marine wildlife. On November 4, the National Marine Fisheries Service said it is investigating the death of two dolphins that washed ashore near San Diego after Navy ships were using sonar in the area.

“The bottlenose dolphins that died last month off San Diego likely came from a population that numbers less than 400,” said Susan Millward, executive director at the Animal Welfare Institute.  “We need to keep up the pressure on the Navy to do more to protect these highly intelligent and vulnerable animals.”

Ocean mammals depend on hearing for navigation, feeding and reproduction. Scientists have linked military sonar and live-fire activities to mass whale beaching, exploded eardrums and even death. In 2004, during war games near Hawai‘i, the Navy’s sonar was implicated in a mass stranding of up to 200 melon-headed whales in Hanalei Bay, Kaua‘i.

The Navy and Fisheries Service estimate that, over the current plan’s five-year period, training and testing activities will result in thousands of animals suffering permanent hearing loss, lung injuries or death. Millions of animals will be exposed to temporary injuries and disturbances, with many subjected to multiple harmful exposures.

A video on the effects of Navy sonar training on marine mammals is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9gDk29Y_YY

Dengue Fever Information Update – Public Meetings Begin Tonight

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Monday November 9th at 10:30AM.

The State Department of Health continues to work with other state and county agencies on the issue of the Dengue Fever outbreak.  As of 12:00 noon Friday the Department of Health has reported 23 confirmed cases originating on Hawaii Island.  These cases include 15 residents and 8 visitors and across multiple areas of the island.  An update of the number of cases will be made later today.


Dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted or spread by infected mosquitoes and is not transmitted directly from person to person.  Dengue Fever is not endemic or common to Hawaii and the source or origin of this outbreak is likely due to an introduction of the virus by a person who may have contracted the virus while in another area of the world and who became infectious while in Hawaii.

Because the only mode or method of transmission is through mosquito bites there are actions being taken to reduce the risks and include the spraying or treating of areas of high mosquito presence that are also areas of possible contact with infected people. This includes areas around residents of confirmed cases.

Although spraying or treating of areas is ongoing, the most effective method of reducing the spread and possibly eliminating Dengue is to minimize or prevent the possibility of being bitten by an infected mosquito.  Wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, use of 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.

Public Information Meetings will be held at the following locations:

  • Tonight Monday November 9th at the Yano Hall in Kona
  • Tomorrow Tuesday November 10th at the Naalehu Community Center
  • Thursday November 12th at the Konawaena High Cafeteria
  • Friday November 13th at the Hohokaa High Cafeteria
  • Monday November 16th at the Hilo High Cafeteria
  • Tuesday November 17th at the Keaau High Cafeteria

All meetings will begin at 6:00 PM each evening and the community is encouraged to attend.

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 974-4000, extension 68362.

23 Cases of Dengue Fever – Hawaii State Senator Urges Awareness and Action

The growing number of confirmed cases of Dengue fever (23 as of today) has State Senator Josh Green (Dist. 3 – Kona, Ka‘u) calling on constituents within his district and across the entire Big Island to take extra precautions to stem the spread of the virus.  


“As a State Senator and a Big Island physician, I’m concerned not only about the immediate well-being and safety of our residents and visitors, but also the real long term health and economic impacts an outbreak like this can have on the state,” said Sen. Green.  “Unless people become aware of the seriousness of this virus and take action, I’m worried the infection will spread and impact will grow,” said Sen. Green. “There may likely be more confirmed, as well as real but unconfirmed, clinical cases in the coming weeks. However, Dengue can be stopped if we all do our part to reverse the outbreak.”

The Senator has personally seen and treated patients in recent weeks he is concerned may have Dengue fever and is working with hospitals and schools on Hawai‘i Island to ensure there is proper communication to report suspected cases of Dengue. He notes that any constituents who have concerns that they might have acquired the virus should contact their local healthcare provider and the DOH infectious disease branch (808-586-4586). In addition, any calls or email to Senator Green (sengreen@capitol.hawaii.gov) will be placed in the hands of top DOH officials for immediate action.

The Senator is reminding residents and visitors to take measures to avoid the spread of Dengue Fever on Hawai‘i Island including: 

  • Applying mosquito repellents on exposed skin and clothing
  • Wear long sleeves and pants, and lighter colored clothing, to limit exposure to mosquitoes
  • Eliminate standing water around the place of residence to reduce mosquito breeding 
  • Repair screens and jalousie windows

Some key symptoms of Dengue include sudden onset of high fever (in some case over 103 degrees Fahrenheit) severe headaches especially behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, and rash. It is rare, but bleeding can also occur with severe forms of Dengue fever and is a medical emergency.  “Anyone who believes they may have contracted Dengue should see a doctor immediately,” said Sen. Green. “People should take Tylenol for high fevers that may stem from Dengue fever and NOT aspirin or ibuprofen, that can add to complications of this disease.”

“Preventing Dengue Fever from becoming endemic in Hawai‘i will require a prolonged response from DOH, the county and state but most importantly, take good care now and call a healthcare provider if you feel sick,” Green concluded.

The latest information on the state’s efforts to control the spread of Dengue fever can be found on the DOH website www.health.hawaii.gov.

Senator Schatz on Syria – Policy is a Strategic Mistake

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement on the Administration’s announcement that it will deploy a small number of Special Operations Forces to Syria:

Senator Schatz in Puna after Hurricane Iselle.

Senator Schatz in Puna after Hurricane Iselle.

“The Administration’s announcement that it will deploy Special Operations Forces into Syria to combat ISIL marks a major shift in U.S. policy—a shift that is occurring without congressional debate, is unlikely to succeed in achieving our objective of defeating ISIL and instead threatens to embroil the United States in Syria’s civil war and could bring us into direct confrontation with the Russian Federation military and Syrian government forces.

“In the 16-months since the United States began its participation in the regional fight against ISIL, our military involvement has escalated without a clear sense of how our escalating involvement will achieve our strategic objectives.  With ISIL’s control of northern Syria, we cannot reasonably expect that the deployment of Special Operations Forces would be limited in scope or duration.

“As we have seen from our failed train and equip program, U.S. support for moderate Syrian opposition has its limits. Rather than ratchet up our own involvement, we must look for other opportunities to strengthen the coalition’s ability to effectively prosecute the fight against ISIL.

“This shift in policy is a strategic mistake.  Regardless of my views, the War Powers Resolution requires Congress to debate and authorize the escalation of U.S. military involvement in Syria.”

Two Cases of Dengue Fever Confirmed on Big Island of Hawaii – Investigating Others

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is investigating two confirmed and four probable cases of dengue fever in Hawaii residents and visitors that was locally-acquired on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Mosquito Bite

Further testing and confirmation at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is pending. The department sent out a medical advisory to Hawaii County clinicians earlier today to alert them and urge them to report suspect dengue fever cases.

“Although dengue is not endemic to Hawaii, we do have the mosquito species capable of transmitting the disease,” stated State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “It’s likely an infected traveler infected the local mosquito population, which led to this cluster, so we want the public to be aware of this mosquito-borne disease and the steps they can take to prevent infection.”

“Our local environmental health assessments have not found significant mosquito activity in the affected area,” added Hawaii District Health Officer Aaron Ueno. “As a precautionary measure the department is conducting mosquito prevention activities such as spraying with consent from property owners.”

Symptoms of dengue fever typically begin within a week after a bite by an infected mosquito and can include fever, joint or muscle pains, headache or pain behind the eyes, and rash. Persons who have the above symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and avoid further exposure to mosquitoes, which is also the best means of prevention.

Dengue virus is most often transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Travelers to areas with infected mosquitoes where dengue fever is endemic are at the highest risk of acquiring the disease. Mosquitoes breed in areas of standing water (such as planters, old tires and pet water bowls). Use mosquito repellents containing 20–30 percent DEET and wear long sleeves and pants in areas where mosquito-borne disease is a concern. For tips on mosquito control, go to http://health.hawaii.gov/san/files/2013/06/Vector-mosquitohandout.pdf.

For more information on dengue fever, visit the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/dengue/.

Community Forum on Invasive Species and Plant Pest Issues in West Hawaii

Hawaii House Representative Nicole Lowen is hosting a public forum for West Hawaii residents on Tuesday, November 10th to learn more about invasive species issues that are affecting homes, agriculture, and native forests on Hawaii Island.


Topics will include fire ants, coqui frogs, coffee berry borer beetle, ohia wilt, and other invasive species and plant pest issues.

A panel of experts will include representatives from the Department of Agriculture, the Invasive Species Council, the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, and the University of Hawaii. Panelists will each give a brief presentation, followed by an opportunity for moderated questions from the audience.

Panelist include: Neil J. Reimer, Ph.D., Robert T. Curtiss, Christy Martin, J.B. Friday Ph.D., and Springer Kaye and will be held at the West Hawaii Civic Center – Council Chambers (Building A) from 6:00p.m. – 7:30 p.m. with the doors opening at 5:30.

Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions Offers Guidance on Banking and Marijuana

The Commissioner of Financial Institutions, Iris Ikeda, presented considerations for banks and other financial institutions when dealing with marijuana related businesses at the Hawaii State Bar Association Convention on Oct. 23, 2015.

Click to view files

Click to view files

“The approval for licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries presents an upcoming challenge for banks,” said Commissioner Ikeda. “Before authorized dispensaries begin doing business, which could be as early as July 2016, banks and other financial institutions dealing with these businesses should take into account regulatory risks posed by the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering Act.”

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Division of Financial Institutions (DFI), which regulates state-chartered and state-licensed financial institutions, is in communication with Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulators on the implementation of Hawaii’s law for medical marijuana.

Outreach to financial institutions with guidance on opening accounts for marijuana related businesses has been conducted by DFI. DFI also hosts a collection of guidance from various federal agencies called “Banking and Marijuana” on its website http://cca.hawaii.gov/dfi/.