Featured, Preparedness

Zika Virus

Zika virus has long been known as a mosquito borne illness, but evidence now shows that Zika can also be transmitted from human to human through sex. Zika virus can be found in semen for up to six months.  This new information is particularly alarming in light of the risk that Zika can cause severe birth defects if a woman is infected during pregnancy.

A worldwide outbreak of Zika virus struck in 2015, with its epicenter in Brazil.

Currently, there are no locally acquired cases of Zika virus in Hawaii. The only cases of Zika in Hawaii have occurred when a resident or a visitor has traveled to an area with Zika, and returned to Hawaii with an infection.

Zika virus is spread by aedes mosquitoes.  Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are found on Maui, so the virus has the potential to spread here by mosquito in addition to the sexual route of transmission.

Symptoms of Zika infection can include a fever, joint pain, rash, headache, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Only about 20% of people with Zika infection have symptoms.  When symptoms occur, they can last several days to a week.

Human fetuses, however, are susceptible to severe birth defects if the mother is infected with Zika virus. For this reason, state and local governments around the country are taking measures to control mosquitoes and educate people about transmission of Zika virus through mosquitoes and through sex. On Maui, Department of Health educators are reaching out to healthcare providers and partnering with schools, farmers, businesses, and government agencies to educate the entire community about the danger of Zika virus.

There is currently local spreading of Zika in small areas of Florida and Texas, as well as Mexico, Central and South America, Pacific Islands, Cape Verde, and other places. Travelers to and from those areas should be particularly careful. 

Preventing the spread of Zika into new areas like Maui includes the following:

  • Educate residents or visitors who are diagnosed with Zika on Maui
    • to avoid mosquito bites
    • to use condoms or abstain from sex for up to 6 months
  • Educate general public about mosquito borne and sexual transmission of Zika virus
  • Prevent mosquitoes from biting you: use repellent and cover skin (long pants, long sleeves, and socks)
  • Reducing mosquito breeding by emptying standing water and other methods.

Click here for more information about mosquito control.

Visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika/ for more information about Zika.


Click here to go directly to Search Tool for EPA registered repellent.

See below for a video explanation of how Department of Health responds to “suspect” cases of Zika virus (and other mosquito-borne illnesses) from Dr. Lorrin Pang.


Multi-Lingual Materials Available

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extensive information about Zika Virus in numerous languages.  Below is one example.  Click here for more CDC posters about preventing Zika, dengue, and Chikungunya.

Pregnant? Protect yourself from Mosquito Bites. Warning: Zika virus can cause microcephaly and other severe brain defectsPregnant? Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites (poster, letter size): 

This poster is available in ●  EnglishTagalog Samoan  Portuguese    Marshallese  ● TonganChineseVietnameseSpanish ●  Spanish (Puerto Rico)  Fijian ●  Arabic  Creole  Korean Japanese Russian ●  Bengali


“Are You Maui Ready” is our newest resource, with information for residents and visitors about natural disasters, ocean safety, disease outbreaks, and more  (four pages, letter size, black & white):

areyoumauiready_image♦ English
♦ Tagalog
♦ Ilokano
♦ Marshallese
♦ Japanese
♦ Kosraean
♦ Chinese (simplified)
♦ Pohnpeian
♦ Hawaiian


This “Make an Emergency Kit” handout is available in ten languages (one page, letter size):

♦ English
♦ Tagalog 1-Fullscreen capture 232014 23523 PM
♦ Ilokano
♦ Marshallese
♦ Japanese
♦ Spanish
♦ Chinese (traditional)
♦ Chinese (simplified)
♦ Tongan
♦ Hawaiian




Mosquito Information in Other Languages:

Handout explaining how to control the mosquitoes that carry the dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses:

♦ English
♦ Portuguese
♦ Spanish
♦ Chinese
♦ French
♦ Korean
♦ Tagalog
♦ Vietnamese


Wallet-sized card: Larvicides used to kill mosquitoes:


♦ English
♦ Tongan
♦ Tagalog
♦ Spanish
♦ Bengali
♦ Marshallese
♦ Samoan
♦ Portuguese
♦ Palau
♦ Korean
♦ Japanese

Dengue brochure in ten languages:

Dengue_Brochure_Cover♦ Spanish
♦ Samoan
♦ Marshallese
♦ Japanese
♦ Ilokano
♦ Hawaiiian
♦ English
♦ Chuukese
♦ Tongan
♦ Tagalog

…and we have information about Bioterrorism in numerous languages. 

Featured, Preparedness

Rat Lungworm Disease

Angiostrongyliasis, also known as rat lungworm infection, is a condition that can affect the human brain and nervous system. Learn about how you can protect you and your family from Rat Lungworm Disease.


Please click here to see the Hawaii State Department of Health web page on Rat Lungworm Disease.

Rat Lungworm BandW Flyer-8.5x11.jpg

Click here to view Chad Meyer’s Rat Lungworm Community Newsletter

Click here to view or print Educational Activity Book for Kids created by UH Hilo College of Pharmacy Rat Lungworm Working Group. (28 pages, mostly black/white)

Rat Lungworm FAQ – UH Hilo (PDF)  Questions from audience of Rat Lungworm Forum on Nov 9, 2011 at the UH (Hilo) College of Pharmacy. Answers from expert panel.

Poster (legal size, PDF):  What is Rat Lungworm Disease?

See below for Video, Fact Sheets, Journal Articles, and Publications from College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR)

Food Safety Video (how to wash vegetables and fruits before eating). Video provided by CTAHR, with subtitles by Department of Health, Maui Office.

Fact Sheets/Posters/Brochures (PDFs):

Rat Lung Flier (Poster) (color PDF, 1 page, legal size)

How to Wash and Handle Produce, FDA Flier (color PDF, 4 pages)

Rodent Brochure (color PDF, 2 sides)

Journal Articles (PDFs):

Pathways for Transmission of Angiostrongyliasis and the Risk of Disease Associated With Them

Control Measures for Slug and Snail Hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis, with Special Reference to the Semi-slug Parmarion martensi

Effects of Washing Produce Contaminated with the Snail and Slug Hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis with Three Common Household Solutions

For more scientific journal articles, see the very bottom of the HDOH page on Rat Lungworm Disease.

CTAHR Publications (PDFs):

Managing Snails and Slugs to Reduce the Risk of Rat Lungworm Disease

Avoid Contracting Angiostrongyliasis (Rat Lungworm Infection): Wash Fruits and Vegetables Before Eating

Best Food-Safety Practices for Hawai‘i Gardeners (Q & A format)

Best On-Farm Food Safety Practices: Reducing Risks Associated with Rat Lungworm Infection and Human Eosinophilic Meningitis*

Guidelines on Rainwater Catchment Systems for Hawai‘i (Rat Lungworm mentioned on pages 26-27 only)

*Image below is from page 2 of CTAHR article “Best On-Farm Food Safety Practices.”

Featured, Preparedness

Will You Be Ready?

It’s Been a Long Time Coming…inikidestruction


Be Hurricane Ready.

Tips for preparedness:

  1. Make a written list of contact numbers
    • Keep information up-to-date
    • Consider including recent photos of family members
  1. Make a Family Plan
    • How do we contact each other?
    • Where do we meet?
      • Neighborhood location
      • alternate location in case neighborhood is inaccessible
  1. Make an Emergency survival kit
    • A 2 week water and food supply is recommended (per person). This is increased from a previous 1 week recommendation.
    • To-go kit is highly recommended

Go to Plan to be Ready for a preparedness booklet that is an easy and excellent way to get your family ready for an emergency.