KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — A grassroots movement to stop the Big Island's spread of dengue fever has formed in Milolii, an area experts are calling a "hotspot" for the outbreak.
Paa Pono Milolii, a group that serves to preserve the culture and the people of Milolii, started raising funds after county officials blocked access to the area Wednesday over public safety concerns, Hawaii News Now reported (http://bit.ly/1JbLqPE).
"There's been an outpouring of support, not only here in Hawaii, but we got but we got donations from the Mainland," said Kai Kahele, executive director of Paa Pono Milolii. "It's really been a community effort coming together and Paa Pono Milolii is just, in respects, the glue that brings them together."
The group's online fundraising page had reached its $3,000 goal on Sunday and was continuing to receive donations. The money will be used to purchase supplies to prevent the spread of dengue fever, such as mosquito nets and repellant for residents.
"When we asked, hey, what could we do to as an organization to help the residents of the village, they said, you know what, this is what we really need right now," said Kahele. "And it's very expensive."
County officials closed Milolii Beach Park last week so crews could conduct mosquito control and pesticide treatments.
As of Friday, there were 181 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne disease across the island.
Officials say people can reduce their risk of infection by wearing mosquito repellant and covering up with long clothing.
Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/