Friday, November 2, 2001

Four-year-old Samuel Anthony wore a "mosquito" yesterday.
He was with his mother, Anya Anthony, and about a dozen or
so sign holders from the Healthy Hawaii Coalition who were
at the public forum, held for health professionals at the state
Capitol auditorium on dengue fever and other emerging
public health threats.

Health officials
confirm first Big
Isle dengue case

5 new confirmations bring the
total number statewide to 74 cases

Maui officials support dengue-fight funds

By Rosemarie Bernardo

A confirmed case of dengue on the Big Island does not alarm health officials, said state epidemiologist Paul Effler.

Because cases have been confirmed on Maui and Oahu, "it's not a complete surprise to find it on the Big Island," said Effler.

The state Health Department yesterday said five new dengue fever cases have been confirmed, bringing the total to 74.

Devin Bull, holding his son Graham, and Andre Kalata
were among Healthy Hawaii Coalition signholders
yesterday who felt the state was not doing enough to
alert people about dengue fever.

The five new confirmed cases included one in Hana on Maui, three in Kaneohe on Oahu, and one in Pahoa on the Big Island.

The individual affected in the Puna District recovered from the illness, according to a news release from Big Island civil defense.

On Oct. 19, the area was treated by the state Department of Health for mosquito control.

State and city health officials held a briefing at the state Capitol auditorium yesterday to stress that community education is key to battling dengue fever.

Maui District Health Officer Lorrin Pang told attendees the spread of dengue in Nahiku, Maui, moved from block to block. At first, state officials said it took time to gain the confidence of residents that they were there to help them battle their illness.

In the first two weeks of October, city and state officials educated residents of dengue through public announcements, Internet and media on how to take preventive measures to stop the spread of dengue.

Between Oct. 8 and 31, about 2,000 pounds of bulky items were picked from homes, said Salvatore Lanzilotti, director of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department.

Effler said he was optimistic of the latest figures on dengue. "There's a downward trend happening in the last several weeks."

Maui officials support
dengue-fight funds

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU >> A bill authorizing Maui County to spend $250,000 to fight dengue fever appears to have enough support.

The Council's Budget Committee passed the bill by a 7-0 vote yesterday. The measure now goes to the nine-member Council for two readings before final passage.

Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana said the number of new dengue fever cases have decreased dramatically on Maui. "Basically, we're winning on the home front," Apana said.

Apana told the Council the officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention left Maui last week and were impressed with the progress made by the county to control dengue fever.

Miles Inokuma, an executive assistant to Apana, said the administration is still gathering information about the cost incurred to fight dengue and remains unsure about how the $250,000 will be exactly spent.

Inokuma said that some of the money will be spent on Molokai, where a case of dengue fever has been confirmed.

As a matter of policy, health workers spray the residences of all people suspected of having dengue.

Inokuma said some of the money will also be spent on Lanai, where there have been no confirmed cases of dengue.

He said county officials plan to conduct education seminars on Lanai about how to reduce the chances of a dengue fever outbreak.

The dengue virus can only be transmitted from a mosquito to a human being and not from one human being to another.

Symptoms include the rapid onset of fever, bone aches, and rash on the palms of hands and soles of feet.

Health officials note Hawaii is located on the edge of a dengue fever epidemic in Asia and the Pacific and suspect areas such as Tahiti might be sources of the virus.

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