HILO, Hawaii – With just days before the start of the annual Merrie Monarch Festival, Vector Control teams are taking preventive measures in Hilo near the venues where the popular hula events will be held.
Teams will by surveying and treating areas around the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium, the Hawaii Department of Health reported in a media release issued on Thursday.
The health department is also encouraging both residents and travelers to take extra precautions “to stay away from and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while they are in Hilo for the event.” Although the number of locally-acquired dengue fever cases have slowed over the past several weeks, the state warns the outbreak is not over, and the public should reduce their risk of infection as much as possible.
The DOH release contained a statement from Keith Kawaoka, deputy director of Environmental Health.
People from all over the world come to Hawaii to celebrate the tradition of hula during the Merrie Monarch Festival, so we are doing our due diligence and taking proactive measures now to reduce the risks of both imported and local cases of mosquito-borne illnesses. We continue to work with our county partners to coordinate and implement best practices for mosquito abatement and prevention.”Keith Kawaoka – Mar. 24, 2106
- Apply insect repellent when outdoors, and always follow directions for using repellants – especially on small children.
- Wear covered clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks, to help protect skin from mosquito bites.
- Be aware and avoid activities in areas with lots of mosquitoes.
- Eliminate standing water in buckets, containers and puddles around your home;
- Fix leaky faucets and outdoor hoses that may be dripping water;
- Treat bromeliads and other plants that hold water with a larvicide;
- Clear storm gutters and other outdoor drains of leaves and lawn cuttings;
- Repair screens and jalousie windows to keep mosquitoes out; and
- Dispose of old tires and anything else that may collect and hold standing water.