East Hawaii News

Gabbard Hosts Dengue, Zika Town Hall

May 12, 2016, 8:54 AM HST
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Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard hosts a Telephone Town Hall meeting on May 11, 2016.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard hosts a Telephone Town Hall meeting on May 11, 2016.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard hosted an interactive “Telephone Town Hall” meeting with Hawai’i residents within the Second Congressional District on Wednesday evening.

The call discussed dengue fever and the Zika virus, as well as other mosquito-borne illnesses.

Hawai’i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira and State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park were featured on the call, sharing important updates on the dengue and Zika viruses.

“We had nearly 5,000 people from across my district join our Telephone Town Hall tonight [Wednesday], where they were able to get updates on the latest situation, as well as answers to their questions and concerns,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “There were important questions about how the state and our community can gather lessons learned from Hawaiʻi Island’s dengue outbreak and apply them going forward, what preventive steps are important for members of our community to continue to take, as well as some startling facts about the Zika virus.

The May 11, 2016 Telephone Town Hall meeting hosted by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard featured expert guests Chief Darryl Oliveira from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense (shown on the call above) and State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.

The May 11, 2016 Telephone Town Hall meeting hosted by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard featured expert guests Chief Darryl Oliveira from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense (shown on the call above) and State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.

“The reality is, Hawaiʻi is a gateway to the Asia-Pacific and makes us susceptible to visitors who may be carrying different illnesses. It’s important for us to learn from Hawaiʻi Island’s recent outbreak, remain vigilant, and work together to make sure these mosquito-borne illnesses are not allowed to take hold in our communities.”

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Information on how the viruses are contracted, symptoms, and side effects were also topics of discussion

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Congresswoman Gabbard called in from Washington, DC, Dr. Park called in from Honolulu, and Oliveira called in from Hilo.

The trio reported on the status of the dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island, as well as what is being done at the federal, state, and county levels to protect Hawaiʻi residents and guests from a future outbreak.

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