Hawaii reports additional dengue case, Lawmakers agree to budget increase - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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Hawaii health officials reported on Friday of an additional confirmed case of dengue fever, bringing the state’s outbreak total to 264. Officials do note that the case had an onset of illness that dates back to November.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

Hawaii County says 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.  To support home and business owners in cleaning and removing potential breeding areas, the County of Hawaii Department of Environmental Management will be extending its weekend transfer station hours for the entire month of April.  All transfer stations island-wide will be opened on both Saturday and Sunday for the month of April from the hours of 6:00am to 6:00pm.  Normal transfer station hours will resume during the work week. In addition, the department will be conducting two additional Household Hazardous Waste collections at the follow locations: Saturday April 30th at the Hilo Transfer Station .

As part of an ongoing mosquito control and abatement plan, the Department of Parks and Recreation will be conducting preventative spraying of the Hookena Beach Park on Monday April 25th.  The Park will be closed from Sunday April 24th through 2:30pm on Monday April 25th.

Last week, State House and Senate conferees working on the state budget announced they have agreed to provide $1,270,120 to bolster the state Department of Health Vector Control Branch.

“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.”

“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.”

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