HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed three cases of measles in the state, one on Maui and two on Kauai. The cases on the two islands are not related to each other and have separate travel histories, but all cases are unvaccinated young adults with recent travel either to the Philippines or Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Measles is highly contagious, spreading through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing, and infecting 90 percent of the contacts who are not immune” said Dr. Sarah Y. Park, state epidemiologist. “Measles outbreaks continue to occur both internationally and on the mainland, especially in areas where vaccination is declining. As travel increases during the holiday season, so does our chance of seeing more cases.”
Since January, there have been 594 cases of measles reported in 22 states according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including two cases in Hawaii reported earlier this year in February. With the additional recently confirmed cases, Hawaii now has a total of five confirmed cases reported in the state this year.
The best way to prevent measles is to get vaccinated. DOH is urging everyone to check their immunization status and contact their healthcare provider if they need to be vaccinated.
The symptoms of measles generally begin about 14 days (range 7 to 21 days) after a person is infected and may include:
People who suspect they have measles should call their doctor right away and isolate themselves from others to help contain the spread of illness.
DOH staff continue to work closely with healthcare providers and facilities as well as CDC’s Honolulu Quarantine Station to identify and notify persons who may have been exposed.
For more information, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/home/imm/.
For a list of pharmacies vaccinating adults, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf.
WAILUKU – Motorists are advised that traffic on Hana Highway in Hana Town will be stopped intermittently to allow tree removal work to be conducted next week. Work will begin Monday, Oct. 27 and could last until Thursday, October 30, weather permitting.
The tree removal will involve five Cook Pine trees and 11 Ironwood trees on County-maintained Right-of-Way along Hana Highway. The trees are decaying and are at risk of falling.
The work will be located along Hana Highway just south of Mill Place and Haneoo Road, near Hasegawa General Store. Crews will need to close the road for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time to ensure that trees are removed safely. Whenever possible, one lane will be opened to restore the flow of traffic.
Replacement trees will be planted where appropriate.
The public’s patience and understanding is appreciated. For more information, contact County Arborist David Sakoda at 270-7952.
After three encounters between humans and sharks – big sharks – in Maui waters since Saturday, water safety officials have reopened all beaches. The latest closure came Wednesday when a woman was knocked off her stand-up paddleboard by what her companion said was a tiger shark of some 12-14 feet in length.
As a precaution, the South Maui coastline was closed in a mile in each direction from the incident site. That was fronting the Maui Sunset condo at Waipuilani Beach in Kihei.
The two other shark-board-bite incidents took place Tuesday in Kahului Harbor and Sunday at “Windmills” at Ma’alaea Harbor. In none of the cases was anyone hurt. In all cases the water was turbid and murky.
Moral of this story: Don’t enter turbid, murky water…especially after a big rainstorm.
At approximately 1:15 p.m. this afternoon, the Papalaua Street Civil Defense siren malfunctioned, sending an audible tone and raising concerns among Lahaina area residents and visitors. THERE IS NO EMERGENCY.
Maui Civil Defense authorities apologized for this inconvenience and are looking into the cause of the system malfunction.
HONOLULU – For a third time this week, a Maui ocean user encountered a shark in murky water today around 10 a.m. Discussion among the incredulous includes possible nominations for the infamous “Darwin Awards,” where people seemingly try to prove man’s poor choices are unavoidable…and all too often fatal.
Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers report two women from Kihei, ages 53 and 46, were about 200 yards off Waipuilani Beach Park, stand-up paddle boarding in five to six feet of water when one saw a shark approaching the other’s board. The woman said a tiger shark knocked her friend into the water when it bit the tail part of her board, and that she only saw the shark’s dorsal fin and head, which she believes was about two feet wide.
DOCARE officers closed the area from the old pier across from the old Suda Store to Kalama Beach Park. This follows two other shark incidents this week. All three happened in brown or murky water as a result of Hurricane Ana.
“We are fortunate that no one was hurt in any of these encounters,” said DLNR Chair William Aila. “They should serve as a reminder to stay out of areas that continue to experience runoff and murky water.”
HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $33 million for various capital improvement projects (CIP) administered by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) that invest in state parks, boating facilities, hazard mitigation and watershed protection.
“Hawaii’s natural resources are renowned the world over and are a significant part of what makes our state such a special place to call home,” Governor Abercrombie said. “It is important that we invest in protecting these natural resources and the safety of our residents and visitors who enjoy them year-round.”
Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor. Maui County projects are listed in bold type:
$11,510,000 – Lump Sum Improvements at Boating and Ocean Recreation Facilities, statewide – Design and construction funds for improvements at the Kailua-Kona Wharf loading dock, Puako Launch Ramp and Kawaihae Small Boat Harbor-South on Hawaii Island; Sand Island Launch Ramp, along with Ala Wai, Heeia, Keehi and Waianae Kea Small Boat Harbors on Oahu; Kaunakakai, Lahaina and Manele Small Boat Harbors in Maui County; and Kikiaola, Nawiliwili and Port Allen Small Boat Harbors on Kauai.
$8,750,000 – Rockfall and Flood Mitigation, statewide – Design and construction funds to address areas where boulders and rock outcroppings on state lands have fallen and caused damage or have a high potential for becoming dislodged and threatening public health and safety or property. The funds will retain specialty consultants and contractors to perform detailed assessments, design and/or construction of mitigative measures to protect public safety and/or reduce state liability from potential hazardous conditions imposed by state-owned lands. Projects include rockfall or flood mitigation at Hanapepe, Kauai; Haleiwa, Oahu; Diamond Head, Oahu; Pali Lookout, Oahu; Makapuu, Oahu; Iao Valley State Park, Maui; and other areas statewide that may be deemed to pose hazardous conditions.
$6,750,000 – Lump Sum CIP Improvements at State Parks, statewide – Planning, design and construction funds for a wide range of repair and improvement projects including park and facility infrastructure system improvements and historical facilities and monuments repairs. State park facilities include Sand Island State Recreational Area, Oahu; Kokee State Park, Kauai; Haena State Park, Kauai; Makena State Park, Maui; Hapuna Beach State Recreational Area, Hawaii Island; and other various state park facilities.
$3,000,000 – State Parks Hazard Mitigation, statewide – Design, construction and equipment funds to address natural hazard incidents, rockfall hazards, slope erosion hazards, flooding and drainage hazards, park emergency and clean-up response, and equipment to implement the mitigation improvements.
$3,000,000 – Watershed Initiative, statewide – Construction funds for fencing to protect forest lands and watersheds from non-native cattle, goats, pigs and deer at the Alakai Wilderness Preserve on Kauai, along with the Ewa Forest Reserve, Kaluanui Natural Area Reserve and Kaala Natural Area Reserve on Oahu. Funds will also be used to plant native trees to restore the watersheds on the north slope of Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island.
$800,000 ($400,000 in special funds, $400,000 in private contribution funds) – Kaanapali Beach Restoration and Berm Enhancement, Maui – Planning and design funds to replace approximately 50,000 cubic yards of sand from near offshore locations to the shoreline to restore and enhance the recreational and aesthetic enjoyment of approximately 3,200 feet of Kaanapali Beach. DLNR has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kaanapali Operations Associations (KOA), which states that KOA will equally share in the cost of the project.
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