Maui Makes Mosquito Repellent Purchase

May 4, 2011, 3:07 PM HST · Updated May 5, 9:43 AM
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By Wendy Osher

 Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa authorized the purchase of nearly $3,000 worth of mosquito repellent as a caution against the spread of dengue fever.

The purchase from Maui Distributors was made last week and will be handed over to the Maui District Health Office for use in East Maui upon arrival.

“We’ve faced dengue once before and managed to keep it under control,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “Now we have a chance to stop it before it even starts,” said the Mayor.

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“This repellent will be crucial in containing dengue fever,” said Maui District Health Officer, Dr. Lorrin Pang.  “Since the dengue virus must pass through a human being, we can break the cycle by preventing people from getting bitten by infected mosquitoes or keeping mosquitoes from biting infected people.

“The repellent will protect both infected human beings and mosquitoes from each other,” said Pang.

Dr. Lorrin Pang, file photo by Wendy Osher.

The Maui District Health office plans to distribute the repellent to tourists and residents in East Maui – particularly in Upper Nihiku and Hana where the mosquito population is greatest.  Health officials said they needed about $1,000 worth of repellent for a month.  The new supply should be enough to meet the needs of the visiting summer crowds.

The county’s donation comes of the heels of a similar donation made by the Maui Visitor’s Bureau and the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH) last month.  The initial $1,000 supply was passed out at key locations along the Hana Highway.

The VASH program is a visitors’ assistance program that is funded by Hawai’i Tourism Authority and administered through Maui Visitors Bureau.

County officials say they hope other organizations will also donate money for repellent. The Maui Hotel and Lodging Association has already committed at least $500 for future purchases.

*** Supporting information courtesy County of Maui.

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