Lawmakers urge state to hire more vector control workers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lawmakers urge state to hire more vector control workers

File Image File Image

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Big Island lawmakers are calling for the state to put more money into controlling populations of animals and insects that spread disease.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports Democratic Sen. Josh Green of Kona is among other legislators pushing a bill that would add four new officers to the state Department of Health Vector Control Branch. The officers would be charged with monitoring populations of disease-spreading animals and coordinating an adequate response to potential threats.

Green says the island's recent outbreak of the mosquito-borne dengue fever highlights the need for increased vector control.

He says the state's budget-cutting efforts have suppressed the Vector Control Branch's influence, resulting in what was initially a slow response to the outbreak.

Green is asking for an immediate $500,000 to help fight the continuing outbreak.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly