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Mosquitoes that can spread disease found at Honolulu Airport

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:18 a.m. HST, Mar 21, 2012

The discovery of a mosquito species at Honolulu Airport that is capable of "rapidly spreading" dengue and yellow fever has state health officials warning residents to remove standing water to prevent the spread of mosquitoes.

The mosquito species Aedes aegypti has not been found on Oahu since 1949, but the Health Department's vector control program identified the species discovered at Honolulu Airport on March 5, health officials said today

"This mosquito is of public health concern because it known as a species that, if infected, has the ability to rapidly spread dengue and yellow fever," officials said.

Officials have received one reported case of imported dengue fever this year. In 2011, six imported cases of dengue fever were investigated.

Travelers, including Hawaii residents, may be bitten by an infected mosquito while overseas and bring the disease to Hawaii when they arrive in the islands, health officials said. 

"Keeping down the mosquito population can prevent the spread of serious illnesses," Gary Gill, the Health Department's deputy director of environmental health said in a statement. "This risk is made worse by rainy weather and now, the reappearance of the aegypti mosquito on Oahu.  Let's do what we can to protect our families friends and neighbors." 

The mosquito species Aedes aegypti, if infected, has the ability to rapidly spread dengue and yellow fever, health officials said.

The mosquitos were collected the week of Jan. 9 through 17 from a trap at Honolulu Airport that's designed to capture eggs laid by adult females.  

The eggs were reared into adults to identify a species and four females and four males were positively identified as Aedes aegypti. Health officials are trying to determine their country of origin.

Due to cutbacks in the Health Department's Vector Control program, the traps at the Honolulu Airport are the only routine mosquito surveillance performed on Oahu, health officials said.

Follow-up surveillance "immediately" began to determine if the aegypti species established itself Oahu, but health officials said no further aegypti mosquitoes have been found.

For more information on reducing mosquitoes, visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/mosquitoes/.

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
All our fresh new potholes will make excellent breeding spots. This will make a nice accompaniment to flesh eating bacteria. Next, I think, come the locusts.
on March 20,2012 | 07:19PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Neko...brah you've been on a streak lately. Funny as hell posts.
on March 20,2012 | 08:14PM
kalaoa wrote:
they don't breed in pot holes! look around your house instead!
on March 20,2012 | 10:03PM
soshaljustic wrote:
The little bugger was blown in the wind from what direction to the Airport you say? Oh, it was cultivated by the State in standing water at the Airport, therefore there must be a whole family swarming in and around the ? mile radius of the Airport? Care to let us know about how many miles around the Airport the buggers are expected to be inhabiting currently? One hatching is what? 70,000 eggs? Might vector branch out and give the public more information rather than the same'ol dump all standing water, or squirt a layer of dish detergent in with your standing water to float at the top so the bugger will not lay eggs, and do not keep plants that are infamous water holders, watch your outdoor toilets too!
on March 20,2012 | 07:54PM
soshaljustic wrote:
So much for Vector Control to give the public some info-Up to 300 a hatching and up to 3000 in one lifetime (a month!) That is lots of baby mosquitoes for one busy female in a month that stays within about a mile of its hatching! Lot of them around the Airport! Watch it if you are taking a plane out, folks!
on March 20,2012 | 08:08PM
kalaoa wrote:
The Administration killed off Vector Control. There is no VC in DOH! Welcome to what you wished for: getting rid of Government Workers.
on March 20,2012 | 10:05PM
inverse wrote:
Hawaii might not have vector control but we currently have a lots of money for rail propaganda, lawyerss, bureaucrat train transit employees making 6 figure salaires and just recently a new HART CEO from masachusetts who will be making over $300K per year. What if they used all of that wasted money to stop gutting budgets for vector control and other public safety departments to help prevent a potential major outbreak of Dengue fever on Oahu? If that would to happen resident population would be at risk and the tourist industry would be devastated as a Dengue outbreak would make world news and visitors would avoid vacationing in Hawaii like the plague. So between rising gas prices resulting in rising airline tickets, Dengue fever and flesh eating bacteria outbreaks, major water main breaks and major sewage spills and brown water advisories due heavy rains, which probably have created the scenario for a potential Dengue and/or flesh eating / MRSA bacteria outbreaks; those Hawaii economists better recalculate their rosy projections of tax collections due to a robust Hawaii visitor economy for this year.
on March 21,2012 | 01:29AM
NamFouc wrote:
i guess thats why bromeliads was such a great choice to plant along the H1 via Duct.............Come on Mizenzhal...................
on March 20,2012 | 07:57PM
awahana wrote:
Can we get crop dusters to spray the airport area now, before it spreads?
on March 20,2012 | 09:42PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Nah, just loose the ten thousand mosquitoes eating geko's.......I can donate one from my house for the cause.
on March 20,2012 | 10:25PM
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