- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Health officials are reminding Hawaii residents to get rid of mosquito-breeding grounds as the state Department of Health investigates whether four reports of travel-related mosquito-borne illness on Oahu could be the Zika virus, dengue fever or chikungunya.

The four cases were reported to the Department of Health on Thursday and all were acquired in Latin America or other Pacific Islands.

Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler said there have been no locally-acquired mosquito-borne illnesses on Oahu. The four cases are no longer active.

“The department is working closely with the counties and taking precautionary measures to respond to all suspected and confirmed cases,” Pressler said. “We ask for the public’s help in reducing mosquito breeding areas around homes and workplaces and preventing mosquito bites by using repellant or protective clothing.”

It may take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention months to identify the samples from Hawaii.

Zika and dengue fever are spread by the same type of mosquito. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding, residents are encouraged to eliminate standing water from their homes, fix leaky outdoor faucets, clean gutters and treat plants that hold water.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said following the state’s “Fight the Bite” campaign is important to stop the spread of what could become a serious health issue on the island.

“If you feel ill with flu-like symptoms, please seek medical attention, especially if you’ve traveled to another part of the world recently,” he said.

Honolulu officials are inspecting all city facilities for standing water and working to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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