Hawaii’s governor David Ige declared a state of emergency for mosquito-borne illnesses on Sunday, including Zika and dengue fever. The latter has been an especially urgent concern, with over 250 confirmed cases of dengue reported during the current outbreak.
The Associated Press reports there have been no reported cases of local Zika transmission in Hawaii. However, the first case of infant brain damage reported in the United States came from Hawaii, where a child with microcephaly was born to a woman who lived in Brazil early in her pregnancy.
Six residents of Hawaii are known to have contracted Zika during travels to the outbreak areas. In addition to the South American and Caribbean countries noted as sources of Zika infection, the virus is active on Pacific islands including American Samoa, which enjoys regular air travel with Hawaii.
“We are doing everything we can to be prepared, to be proactive, to prevent vector borne diseases here in Hawaii,” said Governor Ige, when issuing his emergency order.