Battling outbreak, Hawaii faces small staff, pesticide fears

Published: Feb. 29, 2016 at 9:32 AM HST|Updated: Feb. 29, 2016 at 10:11 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - On a lush organic farm in the heart of Hawaii's dengue fever outbreak, it's hard to know where nature ends and the farm begins.

But state efforts to combat the outbreak - and prevent the related Zika virus from making inroads on the island - could put these farmers out of business. They're posting "no spray" signs on their properties and pushing back on the pesticides that kill mosquitoes that transmit both infections.

Global health officials have identified mosquito eradication as the key to curtailing the Zika outbreak that has been linked to birth defects in Brazil.

Hawaii's strong anti-pesticide sentiment, tropical conditions and understaffing are challenging the teams that fight mosquito-borne diseases. Many fear the Zika virus could be just a plane ride away from Hawaii.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.