Hawaii Calls In National Guard As Dengue Fever Outbreak Grows

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
By Paul Martin

In the past two months, 79 cases have been confirmed on the Big Island.

Carla Herreria

Hawaii’s Department of Health announced Thursday that the National Guard will be assisting the agency in a “support” role after 79 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed on the Big Island since Sept. 11.

So far, the National Guard’s involvement has been small, according to Hawaii News Now, and has included flying mosquito sprayers from Oahu to the Big Island.

In a news conference, Gov. David Ige characterized the support role by saying, “We are redeploying and mobilizing resources that we have available.”

While the Big Island is currently the only island in the state experiencing the outbreak, the Department of Health said it could last for months.

State and county officials are working to prevent the spread of infections by closing beaches in infected areas and spraying insecticides in nearby schools. Officials have also launched a “Fight the Bite” campaign to spread awareness about the outbreak and help residents avoid infection by using insect repellent and eliminating stagnant water around residential properties.

Still, the number of confirmed cases continue to rise daily, and lawmakers say officials need to do more to fight the disease.

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