February 28, 2002
Contact: Su Shin
(808) 531-6087 ext. 5
Today the State Department of Health unveiled plans for its
statewide mosquito population survey to be kicked off next week. This
effort is part of the Department’s long-term dengue management
strategy and will help to identify and locate the various species of
mosquitoes found in Hawaii.
We are pleased to report that mosquito control efforts to date seem
to have helped control the outbreak," said State Health Director Bruce
Anderson. "But we cannot let down our guard, we must remain vigilant in
controlling mosquito populations across the state. This mosquito survey
will help us to clearly identify problem areas and will provide us with
the information necessary to plan proper dengue management and future
prevention strategies," Anderson added.
Vector control crews demonstrated the procedure that will be used in
neighborhoods on all islands. Black jars filled with water and
containing egg collection sticks will be placed in neighborhoods across
the state. The jars contain no chemicals or pesticides and are not
harmful to people or pets. Health officials are asking for the
cooperation and assistance of Hawaii residents in this effort.
"We need the help of Hawaii residents to make this mosquito survey a
success," said Gary Gill, Deputy Director Environmental Health. "You
may begin seeing these black jars in your neighborhoods in the months
to come, please do not disturb them. They are collecting vital
information to assist us in mapping out a plan that will help to
control mosquitoes in our islands. And you’ll be doing your part
to control dengue in Hawaii."
As expected, some initial surveying conducted on the Big Island
reveal the presence of aedes aegypti mosquitoes on the West Coast of
the island. Vector control personnel on the big island will be working
with resort maintenance crews, conducting inspections and walk throughs
of the hotel properties to assist with mosquito control efforts. The
comprehensive statewide survey will further determine the prevalence
and penetration of this species in Hawaii.
Health officials believe the primary vector in Hawaii’s
current outbreak to be the aedes albopictus mosquito, which experts say
is an inefficient vector of dengue. Determining where the more
efficient vector, aedes aegypti mosquito, is present will help the
department map out targeted vector control efforts.
Anderson said, "We must remember that dengue is common in many areas
of the world and we will likely continue to see it brought in to our
state. This is the reason why we need to work together to keep our
mosquito population in check if we are to prevent those introductions
from establishing itself in our islands. Our focus must be on this
effort and we need your help to do this."
Experts say vigilant mosquito control is the only effective means to
control dengue. DOH officials stress the need for every resident in the
state to be increasingly vigilant about mosquito control in and around
their homes, especially following the very rainy period we have
The Health Department’s dengue prevention teams continue to go
door-to-door in the windward Oahu area educating residents on mosquito
control. They point out any potential breeding areas around homes and
assist people in ridding their homes of standing water. A similar
door-to-door effort is taking place on Maui as well as a public/private
partnership where dengue educational materials and mosquito repellant
are being distributed to visitors at roadside businesses in the Hana
Public education and outreach efforts also continue throughout the
state with the launch of a new PSA. The 30-second television spots
began airing on all major networks this week and stress the importance
of eliminating standing water around our homes.
Vector control crews continue aggressive mosquito control measures
around suspected cases. To date, more than 16,000 homes have been
inspected and over 3,200 homes have been treated statewide.
For more information log onto the DOH web site at www.hawaii.gov/doh/dengue.
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