HONOLULU – After recent rains, the state Department of Health is urging people to clear standing water from areas where mosquitoes breed.
The precaution is aimed at preventing the appearance in Hawaii of mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as dengue fever, which has increased to epidemic levels this year in parts of the United States and the tropics and subtropics.
“Reducing the mosquito population can prevent the spread of serious illness from infected persons to others by way of biting mosquitoes,” said Keith Ridley, acting director of the Health Department. “Fortunately at this time, dengue fever, West Nile virus, malaria and other mosquito-transmitted illnesses are not endemic in Hawaii. We all must do all we can to protect our islands against these possible threats to public health.”
This year, five cases of dengue fever contracted outside of the state by travelers who became ill during their stay in Hawaii were investigated by the department. In 2009, six imported cases were reported, and in 2008 there were 14 imported cases.
Mosquitoes transmit the illness to people when they bite them. Symptoms include a sudden onset of fever, severe headaches, eye, joint and muscle pain, and rash. The rash typically appears on the hands, arms, legs and feet for three to four days after the fever begins. The symptoms usually go away within one to two weeks.
Sometimes people with dengue fever can develop blood-clotting problems, a condition called dengue hemorrhagic fever, a serious illness with abnormal bleeding and very low blood pressure. Continue reading
The elimination of six plant quarantine inspectors, also within the Department of Agriculture, will limit nursery certification statewide and force cargo headed for Kauai to instead be routed to Honolulu for inspection.
Documents turned over to the Hawaii Government Employees Association last month by the Lingle administration detail the criteria used to eliminate more than 1,100 state jobs by mid November.
Khon2 obtained a copy of all 462 pages provided to the union as ordered by the Hawaii Labor Relations Board.
Department directors and supervisors were told to keep the following criteria in mind when eliminating jobs
- Minimize health and safety impacts.
- Minimize adverse impacts on service to the public and agencies involved.
- Prohibit the reduction of staffing levels below the minimum required to support critical program functions.