Mayor Caldwell Urges O‘ahu Residents to Take Anti-Mosquito Measures
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is urging O‘ahu residents and visitors to take action against mosquitoes and their bites following an announcement by the state Department of Health that four imported cases of mosquito borne viruses are being investigated on the island.
The O‘ahu cases include: (1) Zika virus, (2) dengue fever and (1) chikungunya.
The news comes on the heels of a suspected Zika case on Maui last week in which a resident became ill while traveling in Latin America and was tested upon return to Maui in February. County officials said that while initial lab tests were not conclusive in the Maui Case, results did warrant further testing and pointed to a high probability of Zika.
“Although there are no reported cases of locally transmitted Zika, dengue or chikungunya here on O‘ahu, all of us should remain vigilant in fighting the bite,” said Honolulu Mayor Caldwell in a press release statement. “I urge all residents to remove standing water around their properties where mosquitoes breed and use insect repellent.”
The city’s Department of Emergency Management is in close contact with the Hawai‘i Health Department about the cases and has taken precautionary measures.
“We’ve told our department heads to inspect city facilities for standing water and take appropriate action to prevent mosquitos from breeding,” said Emergency Management Deputy Dir. Peter Hirai. “We’re also telling city employees, especially those that work outside in mosquito-prone areas, to dress appropriately and use repellent.”
O‘ahu residents who live in urban Honolulu and the North Shore who receive a flyer from the Hawai‘i Health Department are asked to read the information carefully and follow instructions on how to stop mosquitoes from breeding and prevent from getting bit.
“This could become a serious health issue for our island and we must all do our part in the ‘Fight the bite’ campaign,” said Mayor Caldwell. “If you feel ill with flu-like symptoms, please seek medical attention, especially if you’ve traveled to another part of the world recently.”
Mayor Caldwell offered the following tips to “Fight the bite” and stop mosquitoes from breeding:
Eliminate standing water from buckets, puddles, etc.
Fix leaky faucets and outdoor hoses that are dripping water.
Treat bromeliads and other plants that hold water.
Clean your gutters so water runs freely.
Repair screens and jalousie windows to keep mosquitoes out.
Dispose of old tires.
Tips on how to protect yourself include the following:
Apply insect repellent when going outdoors (always follow directions, especially for small children).
Use long pants, long sleeve shirts and socks to prevent mosquito bites.
Avoid activities in areas with lots of mosquitoes, and going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are more active.