Free Window Screening Workshop #FightTheBite

Lowes, Habitat For Humanity West Hawaii and the State Health Department have created a “Free Window Screening” workshop day on June 16th from 10-1 in the Lowe’s parking lot near the garden area to help repair people’s screens and teach residents how to do it themselves, as well.

Lowes Fight the Bite

Qualified residents can sign up to have Habitat folks provide the materials to make sure people have homes with screens to avoid contracting mosquito borne illnesses. Perk? A free BBQ from Randy’s BBQ!

New Imported Case of Dengue Fever Reported on the Big Island of Hawaii

This is a Civil Defense Message. This is a dengue information update for Friday, May 20, 2016.

Mosquito BiteThe State Department of Health has identified a single imported case of dengue on Hawaii Island. Vector control crews have treated the person’s residence and adjacent properties today.

Again, this is a single imported case. There is no evidence to indicate a local transmission has occurred. There have been no reported dengue cases attributed to local transmission since March. Imported cases occur from time to time and remind all of us to always be vigilant and fight the bite.

As the summer approaches and more travel is anticipated, the public is reminded that the most effective method to reduce the spread of dengue or other mosquito borne illnesses is for everyone to avoid and prevent mosquito bites. Fight The Bite by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellent, and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest. If feeling ill and unsure if you may have dengue, remain indoors to avoid getting bitten and infecting mosquitoes and contact your health care provider.

For information on dengue, visit health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001.

Milestone Reached in Hawai‘i Island Dengue Fever Outbreak

With no reports of recent incidences of locally acquired dengue fever in 30 days, the state and County of Hawai‘i announced a significant milestone in the Hawai‘i Island outbreak that began in October. While the outbreak seems to have come to a halt, Gov. David Ige, along with other state and local officials caution the public not to let their guard down in the fight against mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit.

Mosquito Bite

The state and Hawai‘i County are standing down certain emergency response activities related to the dengue fever outbreak after 30 days of no new locally acquired cases. This decision rests on the fact that three periods of the maximum human incubation period of ten days have passed. The final day of the infectious period for the last reported case was March 27. However, as per routine operations, the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) continues to immediately investigate all travel related cases and conduct mosquito assessments and/or treatment of potential areas of mosquito exposure.

“This milestone could not have been reached without the diligent efforts and teamwork by the Department of Health and the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency,” said Gov. Ige. “While this outbreak seems to be ending, our statewide response to mosquito-borne diseases must continue. We must remain vigilant in our mosquito prevention and abatement practices, be ready to respond to the Zika virus, and continue working together as a state to ‘Fight the Bite.’”

Since Oct. 28, 2015, DOH and the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency (HCCDA) have been actively investigating and responding to locally-acquired cases of dengue fever on Hawai‘i Island. Dengue is not endemic to Hawai‘i, but it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. As of April 27, 2016, 264 cases of locally-acquired dengue fever have been confirmed on Hawai‘i  Island with illnesses occurring as early as Sept. 11, 2015.

“By no means are we out of the clear,” said Darryl Oliveira, administrator of the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency. “Cooperation and collaboration between the state and county have been exemplary but we continue to identify actions and efforts that we can improve on in the future. We appreciate the tremendous initiative shown by the community in assisting with mosquito abatement and encourage everyone to continue taking proactive measures around their homes and neighborhoods to keep our state safe.”

Over the course of the outbreak, DOH’s Vector Control team surveyed a total of 523 private properties and 310 public spaces. Of that count, 220 private properties and 65 public spaces were sprayed and/or treated for mosquitoes. A total of more than 1,900 reported potential cases were evaluated and/or tested by DOH disease investigators and State Laboratories Division staff.

Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler added, “The fight against mosquitoes is far from over and we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our communities from the risk of mosquito borne diseases. We continue to receive and investigate reports of travel-related suspect cases of dengue fever, Zika virus and chikungunya on all islands. As Zika continues to spread rapidly overseas, we must take precautionary measures to prevent any locally acquired cases from taking hold in our state.”

“Knowing the dengue fever outbreak has been halted is welcome news for Hawaii’s tourism industry, especially for the travel partners, employees and residents who rely on its continued success,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “Travelers considering a visit to the Hawaiian Islands in the coming months can make their plans with confidence and without the hesitation that dengue may have been causing them.”

On April 11, Gov. Ige signed a supplemental proclamation to extend the state’s emergency period for mosquito borne illnesses. Under the extended emergency proclamation, DOH and the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), with input from county partners, will continue ongoing efforts to develop a comprehensive response plan detailing appropriate actions and measures dependent on the state’s current risk associated with mosquito borne diseases. A statewide public awareness and education campaign will kick off this year to ensure people understand the risks of mosquito-borne diseases and how to best prevent these illnesses in Hawai‘i.

Pregnant women need to take special precautions against the Zika virus and should avoid travel to areas where Zika is actively circulating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that Zika can cause microcephaly in newborns, a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared with other babies of the same sex and age. CDC has also confirmed that Zika can be spread from an infected man to his sexual partners. It is still unknown how long the virus can be spread in this way after the infected male’s symptoms have cleared.

For additional information about Zika virus and precautions, visit DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division’s website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/zika_virus/. For travel information and advisories, visit CDC’s website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/zika-travel-information.

Hawaii House and Senate Budget Conferees Agree on Funding to Increase Vector Control Staffing – Concern for Dengue and Zika Drives Need

House and Senate conferees on the state budget today agreed to provide $1,270,120 to bolster the state Department of Health Vector Control Branch to focus on controlling populations of animals and insects that spread disease.

Mosquito Bite

Hawaii Island’s recent outbreak of dengue fever and the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, which are spread by mosquitoes, have highlighted the continued importance of vector control, and House and Senate conferees want to ensure that the state is prepared to adequately short circuit, monitor and respond to any future outbreaks.

“This funding will help re-establish the vector control branch, which has been reduced over the past few years by furloughs and budget cuts,” said Sylvia Luke, chairperson of the House Finance Committee.  “In making these appropriations, the department will be able to add 20 new positions to monitor populations of vectors such as mosquitoes and rats, and to respond appropriately when a threat arises.”

Before the dengue fever outbreak in October, 2015, the state had 25 vector control positions, but 8 were vacant. With the added 20 new positions, there will be a total of 45 people in vector control when all positions are filled.

“Infectious disease has been and will continue to be one of our key challenges in a world made smaller and more connected with modern day air travel,” said Jill Tokuda, chairperson of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  “The state’s recent slow response to the dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island was a wake-up call for all us.  We must be more vigilant in anticipating and responding to such outbreaks spread by mosquitoes and other vectors.”

In addition, the budget items agreed upon today included:

  • $6.9 million for public school transportation services;
  • $5.2 million for utilities for public schools;
  • $2.5 million for new fire trucks, firefighter equipment and fire retardant suits to ensure airport safety;
  • $1.5 million to fund a U.S. geographical survey study on Hawaii streams;
  • $1.4 million for port security and safety boats to reduce impact of natural disasters;
  • $1.25 million for maintenance and replacement of equipment at UH community colleges;
  • $400,000 to support beach restoration and protection projects and studies;
  • $180,000 for hydrologist and project development specialist positions for public land management for the disposition of water rights lease management and oversight; and
  • $162,354 for physician salary increases for better access to medical services for the Department of Public Safety.

The agreements were part of House and Senate conferees continued negotiations on a final version of HB1700, the state budget bill.  Earlier in the session, the House Finance Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee crafted their respective versions of the budget.

Lawmakers will continue to meet to iron out differences between the two versions through April 29, the deadline for all fiscal bills to pass out of conference committee.  A final conference draft will then be voted upon by the Legislature and if approved, will be sent to the Governor for his signature.

Budget worksheets detailing agreements and disagreements in the state and judiciary budget bills are available on the Capitol website at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/budget/2016budget.aspx

The conference committee is scheduled to reconvene on Friday, April 22, at 2:30 p.m. in room 309.

Senator Schatz Visits CDC Headquarters, Meets with Top Official to Discuss Zika, Dengue Response in Hawaii

As the outbreaks of Zika and dengue continue to threaten communities in the United States and around the world, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters and met with top officials to discuss the CDC’s response to outbreaks in Hawai‘i.

Senator Brian Schatz in Puna after Hurricane Iselle

Senator Brian Schatz in Puna after Hurricane Iselle

During the meetings, Senator Schatz called for stronger vector-control programs to fight the spread of mosquito-borne viruses. Zika and dengue are transmitted by the same mosquito population, making vector-control programs a key component to preventing outbreaks.

“Dengue remains a public health emergency on Hawai‘i Island, and with new possible Zika cases in the state, we need more support from the CDC to fight these outbreaks,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. “While we continue to secure more funding, I am pleased we were able to get a commitment from the CDC to address dengue and the threat of Zika in Hawai‘i.”

Last month, Senator Schatz led eight senators in calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase funding for mosquito-control programs.

During an appropriations hearing in February, Senator Schatz urged the Director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden, to coordinate with state and local governments to improve mosquito-control programs to help stop the spread of both dengue and Zika.

Hawai‘i has had over 250 confirmed cases of dengue since September 2015, mostly concentrated on Hawai‘i Island. Like dengue, Zika can be transmitted by mosquitos. Zika has been spreading throughout the Americas and has been linked with neurological ailments such as paralysis and devastating birth defects. The CDC has issued its highest alert level for Zika, while the World Health Organization has declared it a global health emergency.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 263

Mosquito Bite

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 263:

Potentially infectious individuals
1 onset 3/17/16
Cases no longer infectious
262 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 3/4/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
263

Of the confirmed cases, 237 are Hawaii Island residents and 26 are visitors.
217 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 3/17/16.

As of today, a total of 1517 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 261

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 261:

Mosquito Bite

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new cases 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.

IMPORTANT: Infectious mosquitoes may still be present, even if no cases remain infectious to mosquitoes. “Fight the bite” preventative measures remain crucial throughout the Big Island.

Potentially infectious individuals
1 onset 3/4/16
Cases no longer infectious
260 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 2/13/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
261

Of the confirmed cases, 236 are Hawaii Island residents and 25 are visitors.
215 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 3/4/16.

As of today, a total of 1440 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Updated Map Shows Risk Areas for Potential Dengue Infection – No Areas at High Risk

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

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The response to the ongoing Dengue Fever outbreak continues. Although the number and frequency of new confirmed cases appears to be on the decline, the outbreak is not anticipated to be considered over anytime in the near future. Therefore we need everyone’s help to continue to Fight the Bite.

Of the confirmed cases, 235 are Hawaii Island residents and 25 are visitors.
214 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/13/16.

As of today, a total of 1391 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

West Hawaii Blood Drives Cancelled Due to Dengue Fever Risk

Blood Bank of Hawaii Press Release:

blood bank of Hawaii

As of the latest posting from the State of Hawaii Department of Health, the Captain Cook and Honaunau areas on the Big Island are no longer in the high-risk area for Dengue virus.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

However, the highly populated area of Kailua-Kona, 96740 and 96745 zip codes, are now considered high-risk areas. Due to a high percentage of blood donors in that area we have proactively cancelled the following West Hawaii drives:

  • March 9th – LDS Kona from 11:15am-5:15pm (80 pint goal)
  • March 10th – Mauna Kea Beach from 10-4:15pm (80 pint goal)
  • March 11th – Konawaena High School from 7am-1pm (78 pint goal)

To ensure we meet the patients’ needs and make up the 238-pint deficit, we have increased capacity to existing drives on Oahu and added double-bus drives in the Blood Bank of Hawaii’s headquarters parking lot on Dillingham Boulevard on March 9 and 10 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and March 11 from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause your readers and appreciate your support and effort in keeping the community informed.

Dengue Fever Outbreak Continues – Hookena Beach Park Reopening March 1st

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Friday February 26th at 1:10PM.

The response to the ongoing Dengue Fever outbreak continues.  Although the number and frequency of new confirmed cases appears to be on the decline, the outbreak is not anticipated to be considered over anytime in the near future.  Therefore we need everyone’s help to continue to Fight the Bite.

To prevent mosquito bites, wear clothing that minimizes exposed skin, use mosquito repellent on skin that cannot be covered, and avoid areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest.

If you suspect you may have dengue, remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes, and contact a health care provider. Community health centers are working with the Department of Health to see patients who suspect they may have dengue regardless of ability to pay.

Help to reduce potential mosquito breeding areas around homes and businesses.

As of 1:00PM today the Department of Health reported no additional confirmed cases since yesterday and the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak is at 260. These cases include 235 residents and 25 visitors.

As there have been no confirmed cases associated with the Hookena Beach Park since November 11th and with the actions taken to include numerous sprayings and treatments of the beach park, County and Department of Health Officials will be reopening the park for normal use to include camping effective Tuesday March 1st.

Everyone is reminded that ensuring the safe and enjoyable use of our park facilities depends on everyone’s help and cooperation.  Please use repellent while visiting and enjoying the park and help to keep it clean.  If feeling ill, avoid visiting parks and public areas and remain home to prevent transmission of any communicable diseases.

For additional information on dengue and preventing the spread, 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.

Below is a map that depicts case locations as of 2/25/2016.

This map will be updated weekly with location data provided by the State Department of Health. Locations may represent multiple cases. For the most up to date case counts and other information from the Department of Health, visit their website at health.hawaii.gov.

Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.

Dengue Pinpoint 22616

Updated Map Pinpoints 1 Confirmed Case of Dengue Fever on the Big Island of Hawaii

Only 1 confirmed case of Dengue Fever has been reported on the Big Island since 2/18/16.  Below is a map that depicts case locations as of 2/25/16:

Dengue Pinpoint 22616Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.

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.

Updated Map Shows Risk Areas for Potential Dengue Infection

An updated map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases has been released:
Dengue Risk 22416Of the confirmed cases, 235 are Hawaii Island residents and 25 are visitors.
214 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/13/16.

As of today, a total of 1313 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 260

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 260:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 24, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 0 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
0
Cases no longer infectious
260 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 2/13/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
260

Of the confirmed cases, 235 are Hawaii Island residents and 25 are visitors.
214 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/13/16.

As of today, a total of 1313 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 259

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 259:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 19, 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 2/9/16 – 2/13/2016
Cases no longer infectious
257 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 2/8/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
259

Of the confirmed cases, 234 are Hawaii Island residents and 25 are visitors.
213 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/13/16.

As of today, a total of 1262 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Updated Map Pinpoints Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever on the Big Island of Hawaii

Below is a map that depicts case locations as of 2/18/16:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.

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.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 258

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 2 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 258:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 18, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 2 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 2/8/16 – 2/13/2016
Cases no longer infectious
255 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 2/6/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
258

Of the confirmed cases, 234 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
212 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/13/16.

As of today, a total of 1246 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Updated Map Shows Risk Areas for Potential Dengue Infection

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 island wide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

As of February 17, 2016:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 0 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.

As of today, a total of 1225 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 256

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 256:

Mosquito BiteAs of February 15, 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 2/6/16 – 2/9/16
Cases no longer infectious
254 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 2/1/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
256

Of the confirmed cases, 232 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
210 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/9/16.

As of today, a total of 1216 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Governor’s Dengue Fever Emergency Declaration a Recognition of Seriousness of Hawaii Island Outbreak

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) yesterday commented on Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige’s proclamation declaring the dengue fever outbreak in Hawaiʻi County a state of emergency. The disease has plagued Hawaiʻi Island and threatened the state for more than sixteen weeks.

Hayden and Tulsi Squatting

“Governor Ige’s proclamation recognizes the importance and urgency of the situation Hawaiʻi Island residents are facing with dengue fever incidents increasing, and the global concern of the Zika virus continuing to spread. This proclamation and ensuing release of resources, personnel, and tools to take important action steps within our communities on Hawaiʻi Island are critical steps toward eradicating this disease-spreading mosquito, getting rid of dengue, and preventing the Zika virus from taking hold,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Hawaiʻi Island residents and guests deserve aggressive coordinated action from all levels of government, the private sector, and healthcare providers. The increasing number of cases, which grew to 255 today, continues to impact the health and safety of our people and the economy. Our keiki and kūpuna are especially vulnerable, as they are less able to defend themselves against these types of diseases.

“I look forward to working with the Governor and Mayor Kenoi’s team to address other issues that the community has identified remain problematic, such as the difficulty in accessing completely free testing for dengue and the timeliness of getting the results.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard explained, “The difference is really going to be felt when these resources are deployed to the communities hardest hit. Miloliʻi is one hotspot where new cases are still being confirmed. Residents there found that their water catchment systems are problematic breeding grounds and require immediate work and treatment. It will cost $112,000 to do this, and they do not have the ability to fund this themselves. This is a prime example of why these resources are so urgently needed—to fund effective measures that will eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. There is no time to waste.”

The governor’s emergency proclamation will give the state access to the Major Disaster Fund, the option of waiving certain laws and regulations to expedite the outbreak response if and when needed, as well as pave the way for federal assistance should the state exhaust its resources. The state previously released the State Health Department from a 5 percent budget restriction ($250,000) to fund costs incurred while responding to the onset of the dengue outbreak. The state is also releasing the Health Department from another 5 percent restriction ($250,000) to fund eight vector control positions, one entomologist, and one communications position.

On Wednesday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke on the House floor to urge support for and passage of President Obama’s emergency request for $1.8 billion to prepare and respond to the Zika virus. The congresswoman also called for federal funding to fight dengue fever in Hawaiʻi, carried by the same Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as the Zika virus. At the end of January, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard called on Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige to declare this outbreak a state of emergency and to deploy State resources, including the National Guard, to assist with mosquito abatement, public information, clearing of mosquito breeding areas, and providing completely free and accessible testing for those with suspected symptoms. She 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.

Big Island Delegation Responds to Emergency Proclamation on Dengue Fever

Honolulu, Hawaii — In response to the emergency proclamation issued by Governor David Ige today, the House of Representatives’ Big Island delegation issued the following joint statement:

“From the very beginning, we have consistently said that we needed to get out in front of this outbreak and bring all the resources we have to bear to respond to this public health crisis.  The Governor’s declaration today will allow us to seek the additional funding we need now.  The long-term health of our tourism dependent economy notwithstanding, the well being of our residents are of the upmost importance and this declaration not only recognizes the seriousness of this threat but will better position us to tackle any potential future threat posed by the Zika virus.”

Rep. Cindy Evans, Rep. Nicole Lowen, Rep. Richard Creagan, Rep. Mark Nakashima, Rep. Clift Tsuji, Rep. Richard Onishi, Rep. Joy San Buenaventura

Click to view proclamation

Click to view proclamation