Mosquito repellent is a hot commodity on the Big Island right now.
As residents struggle to deal with a dengue fever outbreak, supplies of mosquito repellent on Hawaii Island are quickly disappearing.
Dengue fever is spread by mosquito bites. Health officials say there have been 33 confirmed cases of dengue fever on Hawaii Island since September. The outbreak has spurred the state Department of Health to spray for mosquitoes in communities across the Big Island.
As of Tuesday, some stores had sold out of repellant, while others still had plenty in stock.
Hawaii County Civil Defense employees conducted an inventory of stores in Hilo and Kona to see whether repellant was still available.
Employees found that while some big-name stores had run out – including Wal-Mart in Kona – other stores still had repellant on hand, including Sports Authority, Foodland and KTA.
Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said his office is reaching out to stores to encourage them to work with their vendors to keep repellant in stock.