AP NEWS

Hawaii officials warn of possible mosquito-borne illness

November 15, 2019

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health notified a Maui neighborhood of a suspected case of a mosquito-borne illness near their residences, officials said.

The case involves a resident with a suspected illness acquired while traveling internationally, The Maui News reported Thursday.

The health department expects test results for the possible illness within days, spokeswoman Janice Okubo said in an email. She could not provide further details until the department knows which virus may have infected the resident.

The department issued about 80 letters to residents in a Kahului neighborhood after officials were notified of the case within 200 yards (183 meters) of their homes. Okubo would not provide the exact streets involved to protect the patient’s identity.

The Nov. 8 notice asks residents to eliminate standing water around their homes and try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. The notice includes information about mosquitoes and how to control them, as well as virus information.

The letters are part of the department’s protocol and preventative action. The department conducts mosquito inspection and control in at least a 200-yard (183-meter) radius when someone is identified with compatible symptoms and has traveled to areas where mosquito-borne diseases are endemic, Okubo said.

The department also advises persons who are ill to remain indoors and away from mosquitoes until they have recovered, she said.

The protocol remains in place because Hawaii is always at risk for introduction of a mosquito-borne disease. Mosquitoes on the islands include the Aedes albopictus on Maui, which can transmit various viruses, Okubo said.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com