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All the goodness of pure coconut oil, formulated in Hawaii by nature. Our products do not have added fragrances and are Paraben free.

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Ative Lifestyle

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Wherever you may be, never fear about mosquitoes, flies and fleas.

Enjoy life with your family and friends and be happy.

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Bloc 4oz bottle
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Have you been bitten? Use our after the bite healing spray and get rid of itch and other side effects.

 

Made with Coconut oil to  bloc and Bendyrl Brand name for relief of pain.

 

Block Healing Spray

Bloc After Bite 3oz bottle

 

ABOUT US

Tom Dancu - Creator

Living on the Big Island I learned to respect nature and utilize the powers of natural good. That nature can protect better than chemicals.  We can’t really trust Big Companies and their lies about their chemicals.  The largest organ you have is your skin.  Why use a chemical DEET which is found in most Mosquito repellent.

 

Bloc is formulated in Hawaii using the goodness of Coconut oil, Aloe Vera and lavender to block bites.

Coconut oil is well known for promoting health skin.

 

Why do mosquito repellents have to stink and offend others.  Bloc is low fragrance you will like it.  IT WORKS!

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DOVER, Del. --- Even though cooler temperatures have arrived in recent days on Delmarva, they have not fallen to the level that would kill adult mosquitoes and Delaware health officials say the insect's season may last for another three to four weeks. Dr. Bill Meredith with DNREC's Mosquito Control Section said adult mosquitoes will continue to buzz through the skies until a hard freeze lowers temperatures enough to kill them. Meredith said Delaware has seen 28 West Nile Virus cases in sentinel chickens, with a sharp uptick occurring in recent days. The disease is commonly transmitted through mosquito bites. "We've been on our toes but we're encouraging the public to be aware of mosquito bites with the recent uptick or findings of West Nile Virus," he said. Meredith recommended people take steps to remove standing water from objects or areas around their homes to slow the spread of mosquitoes. Additionally, people should wear long-sleeved clothes, use bug spray, and limit outdoor activities---especially in mosquito prone areas---to help avoid getting mosquito bites. (Tom Lehman) WBOC16 http://www.wboc.com/story/36504549/mosquito-season-could-last-a-little-longer-in-delaware-based-on-temps Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray

(BPT) – Ask people what they love about the warm weather months and you’ll get a variety of answers. They love the sun, the warmth, camping, picnicking, boating and just being outside with family and friends. However, if you ask them what they like least about being outdoors during the warm weather months, the answer is simple – mosquitoes. Everyone is familiar with the buzzing of a mosquito by their ear or the itchy sensation that accompanies a mosquito bite. However, concern regarding mosquitoes has grown in recent years as these insects are capable of transmitting potentially serious diseases to humans, including the West Nile virus and Zika virus. Follow these tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to reduce biting mosquitoes around your property: * DITCH THAT STANDING WATER. A small puddle of water or a child’s toy filled with rainwater may seem insignificant to you, but it is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Eliminate stagnant water areas – including emptying the water out of clogged gutters, flower pots, bird baths and children’s pools – and you deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs. Don’t ignore even the smallest water collection as mosquitoes can breed in as little as a 1/2 inch of water – that’s about the size of a bottle cap. * PROTECT THE INDOORS. Adding screens to your windows and doors allows you to welcome warm, fresh air into your home without letting mosquitoes in as well. Carefully inspect existing screens and repair any holes using a patch kit. * MINIMIZE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY AT PEAK TIMES. Mosquito species are most active at dawn and dusk, so try to remain indoors during these periods. Plan indoor activities for these times and save your outdoor fun for time periods when mosquitoes are less active. However, the Aedes species responsible for transmitting the Zika virus is a daytime biter, so protective measures should be taken when spending time outdoors as well. (Arkon Beacon Journal) https://www.ohio.com/akron/homes/featured/5-ways-to-stop-mosquitoes-from-bugging-you-this-season Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray

. HAWAIIAN GARDENS, Calif. (KABC) -- Several people have died this year from the West Nile Virus in Southern California. With mosquito season in full swing, local public health experts issued a warning about the serious health concern. A campaign to spread awareness about the continued risk of mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile and Zika, launched today in Los Angeles County. Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn said there have been 98 individual cases of the West Nile virus and six confirmed deaths in the area so far. "Mosquitoes can carry serious and even deadly diseases and every precaution should be taken to protect yourself and your family from bites," Hahn said. Hahn will go door to door with the L.A. County Department of Public Health educating residents on how to better protect themselves. The first step is to get rid of any standing water and also the containers that held the water. Officials said educating the public about the dangers of mosquitoes is especially important because peak season for mosquitoes can last well into November, if the weather stays warm. Kelly Middleton, Community Affairs for the Greater LA County Vector Control District, said the Aedes mosquito family, including the yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes, are very aggressive daytime biters. Their eggs can remain alive inside of containers for years. (Darsha Philips) Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. State and local health officials are advising residents to continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites as they announce this year’s first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in a resident of Calumet County. The chances of a person contracting WNV are very low and most people infected will not have any symptoms. Those who do become ill may develop a fever, headache and rash that lasts a few days. Symptoms may begin between three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In rare cases, WNV can cause severe disease with symptoms such as muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma. Older adults and people with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of severe disease from the virus. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus other than to treat symptoms. If you think you have West Nile virus infection, contact your healthcare provider. WNV is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and is not transmitted person to person. Although few mosquitoes actually carry the virus, te Calumet County Health Division recommends the following: Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. Apply an EPA-registered insect repellant to exposed skin and clothing since mosquitoes may bite through clothing. Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry. Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires. Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage. Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use. Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers. Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours. Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas. The Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people. During 2002, the state documented its first human infections and 52 cases were reported that year. During 2016, 13 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October; however, most reported becoming ill with West Nile virus in August and September. (Scripps Media) http://abc7.com/health/socal-mosquito-season-brings-disease-danger/2456337/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

September doesn’t rise to the top of one’s mind for concerns about mosquitoes, but the bug season is far from over, and West Nile virus is still a risk, according to state and county health officials. Numbers of West Nile cases are relatively low this year, with five in Tulsa County and 19 statewide. One case, in Pottawatomie County, resulted in a death. The level of cases has become a sort of new “normal.” The difference is stark compared to record-setting years. In 2012, there were 176 cases and 15 deaths. In 2007, there were 107, nine fatal, according to Laurence Burnsed, epidemiologist with the Oklahoma Department of Health. Both public awareness and mosquito sampling and control have improved in recent years. Mosquito traps around Tulsa this summer produced 48 positive results, an “average to below-average” number, of mosquitoes shown to be carrying the West Nile virus, said Scott Meader, vector control specialist with the Tulsa Health Department. An exact comparison is difficult because trapping methods have improved the past few years, from weekly efforts to overnight trapping methods that are more mobile. Trapping efforts also have expanded to cover more areas. Also, trapping started earlier this year — the first week in May instead of the last. Oklahoma had a moist and relatively mild summer with peaks in mosquito populations after rainy spells, but the mosquito species most likely to transmit West Nile tend to come out later in the summer and don’t need much water to reproduce, Meader said. “The mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus like the hot, dry periods,” he said. Many residents this summer saw those “747-size” mosquitoes that leave a big impression but are less dangerous in terms of disease. “The bigger black ones are probably a floodwater mosquito; they’re voracious biters, it feels like you’ve been hit with a 16-penny nail,” Meader said. During the day, the smaller mosquito sporting a white stripe is a mosquito in the Aedes family, a known West Nile carrier. They come out in the daytime and likely have hatched somewhere nearby, in your yard or just next door, Meador said. The most common carrier is the “medium-sized” plain brown Culex species. Those are the insects that require caution, he said. “They’re the ones that come out in the evening and probably get into your house,” he said. Culex mosquitoes range a little farther, a city block or two, basically, he said. The mosquito season remains in full effect until nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 40s or until the first hard freeze, typically mid- to late-October, possibly early November, Meador said. Those who need to be most careful and aware are people 50 and older, Burnsed said. Of the 19 West Nile cases reported this year, 14 were in people over age 50. The person who died was in the 65-and-over age category, he said. (Kelly Bostian Tulsa World) http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/west-nile-numbers-are-relatively-low-but-mosquito-season-is/article_53ef8a5a-f5c8-59af-8b53-94d0410e5a40.html Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

In the past couple of weeks, I have noticed mosquitoes have become more abundant around my home. So I decided to look into mosquitoes and when the season “peaked”. Some of the 176 known species of mosquitoes hibernate during the winter months and then re-emerge when it reaches the perfect temperature. I found out recently that the start of mosquito season here in ENC actually begins in early April. When temperatures reach 50 degrees, and remains consistent, is when mosquito eggs begin to hatch or come out of hibernation. The peak of mosquito season usually occurs during the hot summer months. Areas that tend to hold a lot of humidity and moisture tend to see more mosquitoes since they flock to those areas to lay eggs and breed. Mosquito season ends when temps drop below 50 degrees, or usually around the time of the first frost. You can actually do a couple of easy things to keep mosquitoes from not being so abundant around your house such as removing items that collect water, or dump out the standing water, cleaning clogged gutters, fill in low-lying areas and hollow logs, and install bug lights. Even though mosquito season is almost over here in ENC, they can still make a brief appearance if we have a warm spell during the late fall, winter, and early spring. Megan Lindsey under WNCT 9 First Alert weather http://wnct.com/blog/2017/09/21/is-mosquito-season-a-thing/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray

About Facts & Activities DOVER, Del. --- Even though cooler temperatures have arrived in recent days on Delmarva, they have not fallen to the level that would kill adult mosquitoes and Delaware health officials say the insect's season may last for another three to four weeks. Dr. Bill Meredith with DNREC's Mosquito Control Section said adult mosquitoes will continue to buzz through the skies until a hard freeze lowers temperatures enough to kill them. Meredith said Delaware has seen 28 West Nile Virus cases in sentinel chickens, with a sharp uptick occurring in recent days. The disease is commonly transmitted through mosquito bites. "We've been on our toes but we're encouraging the public to be aware of mosquito bites with the recent uptick or findings of West Nile Virus," he said. Meredith recommended people take steps to remove standing water from objects or areas around their homes to slow the spread of mosquitoes. Additionally, people should wear long-sleeved clothes, use bug spray, and limit outdoor activities---especially in mosquito prone areas---to help avoid getting mosquito bites. Tom Lehman WBOC16 http://www.wboc.com/story/36504549/mosquito-season-could-last-a-little-longer-in-delaware-based-on-temps Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. (BPT) – Ask people what they love about the warm weather months and you’ll get a variety of answers. They love the sun, the warmth, camping, picnicking, boating and just being outside with family and friends. However, if you ask them what they like least about being outdoors during the warm weather months, the answer is simple – mosquitoes. Everyone is familiar with the buzzing of a mosquito by their ear or the itchy sensation that accompanies a mosquito bite. However, concern regarding mosquitoes has grown in recent years as these insects are capable of transmitting potentially serious diseases to humans, including the West Nile virus and Zika virus. Follow these tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to reduce biting mosquitoes around your property: * DITCH THAT STANDING WATER. A small puddle of water or a child’s toy filled with rainwater may seem insignificant to you, but it is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Eliminate stagnant water areas – including emptying the water out of clogged gutters, flower pots, bird baths and children’s pools – and you deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs. Don’t ignore even the smallest water collection as mosquitoes can breed in as little as a 1/2 inch of water – that’s about the size of a bottle cap. * PROTECT THE INDOORS. Adding screens to your windows and doors allows you to welcome warm, fresh air into your home without letting mosquitoes in as well. Carefully inspect existing screens and repair any holes using a patch kit. * MINIMIZE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY AT PEAK TIMES. Mosquito species are most active at dawn and dusk, so try to remain indoors during these periods. Plan indoor activities for these times and save your outdoor fun for time periods when mosquitoes are less active. However, the Aedes species responsible for transmitting the Zika virus is a daytime biter, so protective measures should be taken when spending time outdoors as well. (Arkon Beacon Journal) https://www.ohio.com/akron/homes/featured/5-ways-to-stop-mosquitoes-from-bugging-you-this-season Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray . HAWAIIAN GARDENS, Calif. (KABC) -- Several people have died this year from the West Nile Virus in Southern California. With mosquito season in full swing, local public health experts issued a warning about the serious health concern. A campaign to spread awareness about the continued risk of mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile and Zika, launched today in Los Angeles County. Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn said there have been 98 individual cases of the West Nile virus and six confirmed deaths in the area so far. "Mosquitoes can carry serious and even deadly diseases and every precaution should be taken to protect yourself and your family from bites," Hahn said. Hahn will go door to door with the L.A. County Department of Public Health educating residents on how to better protect themselves. The first step is to get rid of any standing water and also the containers that held the water. Officials said educating the public about the dangers of mosquitoes is especially important because peak season for mosquitoes can last well into November, if the weather stays warm. Kelly Middleton, Community Affairs for the Greater LA County Vector Control District, said the Aedes mosquito family, including the yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes, are very aggressive daytime biters. Their eggs can remain alive inside of containers for years. (Darsha Philips) Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. State and local health officials are advising residents to continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites as they announce this year’s first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in a resident of Calumet County. The chances of a person contracting WNV are very low and most people infected will not have any symptoms. Those who do become ill may develop a fever, headache and rash that lasts a few days. Symptoms may begin between three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In rare cases, WNV can cause severe disease with symptoms such as muscle weakness, stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma. Older adults and people with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of severe disease from the virus. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus other than to treat symptoms. If you think you have West Nile virus infection, contact your healthcare provider. WNV is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and is not transmitted person to person. Although few mosquitoes actually carry the virus, te Calumet County Health Division recommends the following: Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. Apply an EPA-registered insect repellant to exposed skin and clothing since mosquitoes may bite through clothing. Make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquito entry. Properly dispose of items that hold water, such as tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or discarded tires. Clean roof gutters and downspouts for proper drainage. Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use. Change the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least every three days. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers. Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours. Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas. The Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes, and people. During 2002, the state documented its first human infections and 52 cases were reported that year. During 2016, 13 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents. West Nile virus infections in humans have been reported from June through October; however, most reported becoming ill with West Nile virus in August and September. (Scripps Media) http://abc7.com/health/socal-mosquito-season-brings-disease-danger/2456337/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. September doesn’t rise to the top of one’s mind for concerns about mosquitoes, but the bug season is far from over, and West Nile virus is still a risk, according to state and county health officials. Numbers of West Nile cases are relatively low this year, with five in Tulsa County and 19 statewide. One case, in Pottawatomie County, resulted in a death. The level of cases has become a sort of new “normal.” The difference is stark compared to record-setting years. In 2012, there were 176 cases and 15 deaths. In 2007, there were 107, nine fatal, according to Laurence Burnsed, epidemiologist with the Oklahoma Department of Health. Both public awareness and mosquito sampling and control have improved in recent years. Mosquito traps around Tulsa this summer produced 48 positive results, an “average to below-average” number, of mosquitoes shown to be carrying the West Nile virus, said Scott Meader, vector control specialist with the Tulsa Health Department. An exact comparison is difficult because trapping methods have improved the past few years, from weekly efforts to overnight trapping methods that are more mobile. Trapping efforts also have expanded to cover more areas. Also, trapping started earlier this year — the first week in May instead of the last. Oklahoma had a moist and relatively mild summer with peaks in mosquito populations after rainy spells, but the mosquito species most likely to transmit West Nile tend to come out later in the summer and don’t need much water to reproduce, Meader said. “The mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus like the hot, dry periods,” he said. Many residents this summer saw those “747-size” mosquitoes that leave a big impression but are less dangerous in terms of disease. “The bigger black ones are probably a floodwater mosquito; they’re voracious biters, it feels like you’ve been hit with a 16-penny nail,” Meader said. During the day, the smaller mosquito sporting a white stripe is a mosquito in the Aedes family, a known West Nile carrier. They come out in the daytime and likely have hatched somewhere nearby, in your yard or just next door, Meador said. The most common carrier is the “medium-sized” plain brown Culex species. Those are the insects that require caution, he said. “They’re the ones that come out in the evening and probably get into your house,” he said. Culex mosquitoes range a little farther, a city block or two, basically, he said. The mosquito season remains in full effect until nighttime temperatures are consistently in the 40s or until the first hard freeze, typically mid- to late-October, possibly early November, Meador said. Those who need to be most careful and aware are people 50 and older, Burnsed said. Of the 19 West Nile cases reported this year, 14 were in people over age 50. The person who died was in the 65-and-over age category, he said. (Kelly Bostian Tulsa World) http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/west-nile-numbers-are-relatively-low-but-mosquito-season-is/article_53ef8a5a-f5c8-59af-8b53-94d0410e5a40.html Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. In the past couple of weeks, I have noticed mosquitoes have become more abundant around my home. So I decided to look into mosquitoes and when the season “peaked”. Some of the 176 known species of mosquitoes hibernate during the winter months and then re-emerge when it reaches the perfect temperature. I found out recently that the start of mosquito season here in ENC actually begins in early April. When temperatures reach 50 degrees, and remains consistent, is when mosquito eggs begin to hatch or come out of hibernation. The peak of mosquito season usually occurs during the hot summer months. Areas that tend to hold a lot of humidity and moisture tend to see more mosquitoes since they flock to those areas to lay eggs and breed. Mosquito season ends when temps drop below 50 degrees, or usually around the time of the first frost. You can actually do a couple of easy things to keep mosquitoes from not being so abundant around your house such as removing items that collect water, or dump out the standing water, cleaning clogged gutters, fill in low-lying areas and hollow logs, and install bug lights. Even though mosquito season is almost over here in ENC, they can still make a brief appearance if we have a warm spell during the late fall, winter, and early spring. Megan Lindsey under WNCT 9 First Alert weather http://wnct.com/blog/2017/09/21/is-mosquito-season-a-thing/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. The warmer temperatures mean that mosquito season could last a bit longer than usual. WBOC reports that the Delaware health officials say that it could last for another three to four weeks. Dr. Bill Meredith with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control told the television station that they won’t disappear until there is a hard freeze. He added there is also the continuing threat of West Nile virus that is spread by the insect. It’s recommended that residents remove standing water and wear long-sleeved clothes during this period. In addition, they should use bug spray and keep their time outdoors to a minimum. (Don Rush) http://delmarvapublicradio.net/post/mosquito-season-will-last-little-longer#stream/0 HAWAIIAN GARDENS (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Monday launched the “It’s Not Just a Bite”campaign to warn people about avoiding mosquito-borne viruses, like West Nile and Zika. Health workers will go door to door to 20,000 homes, businesses and schools to hand out packets to spread the word and help keep people safe from the potentially deadly diseases. “Summer may have ended last week, but mosquito season has not,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said at news conference in Hawaiian Gardens on Monday. Just in the last week, 17 new cases of the West Nile virus were reported in L.A. county, bringing the number of cases this year to 98. Six of those led to death. In Los Angeles County, mosquito season peaks May through November. So the health department is working with the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District to make people aware of mosquito-borne diseases and take the proper precautions. Kelly Middleton, vector control’s director of community affairs, said it only takes a 1/4 of an inch of standing water to breed hundreds of mosquitoes. “We have new invasive mosquitoes that have moved into Southern California. We have quite a few of them in L.A. County – three different species, and they are spreading very rapidly, ” Middleton said. She also warned of a new type of mosquito that bites even during the day. “These new aedes mosquitos – they are kind of a game changer for us. It’s going to change our way of life in Southern California,” she added. Experts said that is because they are capable of carrying the Zika virus, which is especially dangerous to pregnant women and known to cause devastating birth defects. This new type of mosquitos survive well here because they lay eggs right above the water line. “So when that water fills up and gets those eggs wet, they hatch out. And those eggs can remain inside a bucket or trash can for years,” Middleton warned. Mosquitoes don’t fly very far. So if you are getting bites at home, they are in your yard or possibly your neighbors’, vector control officials explained. They urge neighbors to work together to get rid of any standing water and wear mosquito repellent when you are outdoors. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/09/25/campaign-prevent-mosquito-borne-illnesses/ CBS Los angeles Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. 174 Californians infected this year, eight dead West Nile virus comes to California every year but often gets less attention than newer diseases, like Zika, in part because it’s been such a constant threat. There have been cases of West Nile, which originated in Africa, in the state every year for the last 15 years. West Nile virus lives in birds, and mosquitoes become infected when they bite those birds. Humans contract the illness when bitten by those mosquitoes. Nationwide, people typically begin falling sick in the summer as mosquito populations boom and decrease in the winter when mosquitoes stop breeding. West Nile has been diagnosed in 48 states this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In California, 174 people have been found to have West Nile virus this year, including eight who have died, according to state data released Friday. By the end of last year’s West Nile season, 442 people had fallen sick and 19 had died. Most people who get West Nile don’t have any symptoms or suffer for a few days from a fever, vomiting or a rash. But one out of every 150 people develops serious problems, including swelling of the brain or meningitis, vision loss, coma or paralysis that can last several weeks — or become permanent. People 50 and older or whose immune systems are compromised are most likely to suffer from these severe consequences, but every year a few younger people also experience them, Schwartz said. Shepherd developed this severe form of West Nile, called neuroinvasive disease. Griffin said her grandmother was an active 84-year-old who lived alone in a house in West Covina. She’d never had a heart attack, stroke or cancer. She took tai chi and water aerobics classes every week. A photograph of Julie Shepherd on the mantel at Shepherd's home in West Covina. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times) Two weeks before she was hospitalized, she complained of being tired, Griffin said, but her family didn’t think much of it. “‘Grandma, you’re 84 years old, feel free to take a nap in the afternoon,” Griffin, 37, remembered saying. But then Shepherd stopped answering her phone. When her family couldn’t reach her, they asked a neighbor to enter the house, where she found Shepherd lying on the floor, disoriented. Hours later, Shepherd was unable to move at all and seemed as though she couldn’t recognize people, Griffin said. Tests came back positive for West Nile. Shepherd had a garden in her backyard, which could have bred mosquitoes. Health officials have also found mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus at a park near her house. ‘People don’t understand how prevalent it is’ Every year there are mosquitoes in every city in the San Gabriel Valley carrying West Nile virus, said Jason Farned, operations manager for the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District. Griffin said that since her grandmother fell ill, she’s been talking to friends and neighbors about West Nile. Many people have never heard of it, or don’t know it can be fatal, she said. “It’s definitely not a new thing, but for some reason people don’t understand how prevalent it is,” she said. “I didn’t until it happened to my grandma.” Officials say that though 80 West Nile cases have been reported in L.A. County this year, the real number is probably in the thousands, since most people exhibit no symptoms and thus don’t go to a doctor to get tested. Where in L.A. County is the highest risk? Health officials say that cities where people have already fallen sick are most likely to have more cases in the coming months, Schwartz said. West Nile cases have been reported in the San Gabriel Valley, Antelope Valley, the Pomona area, Torrance, the San Fernando Valley, Glendale and Los Feliz. Experts recommend wearing insect repellent when outside, especially at dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes that spread West Nile are most active. Homeowners also should clear out standing water from flower pots or fountains, which can breed mosquitoes, and make sure check their pool pumps are working so there isn’t stagnant water in which insects can breed. On Wednesday, mosquito control workers visited homes in downtown Glendale and in Los Feliz to spread the word about the increased risk of West Nile there, said Levy Sun, spokesman for the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District, which oversees insect control in those regions. Testing shows that there are abnormally high numbers of mosquitoes carrying West Nile in Glendale, Los Feliz, Atwater Village and Elysian Valley, he said. “It may seem silly to some people to worry about mosquito bites,” Sun said. “But no one forgets when they or a family member becomes sick with West Nile virus.” Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times Diseases and Illnesses West Nile Virus http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-west-nile-20170923-story.html Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. Th eight cases of West Nile virus reported in Glendale so far this year, health officials took part in a door-to-door education campaign Wednesday, informing residents of what they can do to protect themselves from infection. Conducted by the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, the effort informed residents in Glendale, Los Feliz and Atwater Village about the preventive measures they can take to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. Levy Sun, a spokesman for vector control, said wearing insect repellent and dumping out any stagnant water near homes are measures people should take reguHe said those actions were specifically targeted in the campaign because of the high concentration of people with West Nile virus in Glendale. Additionally, Sun said three traps set up by vector control officials in Glendale all turned up positive for the virus. “We are now in the peak of mosquito season,” he said. “We can see it lasting until late November if the weather continues to stay warm.” In Burbank, only one person has been reported to have contracted the virus this year, while 32 cases have been reported in Los Angeles. Sun said the virus is fairly common and widespread throughout L.A. County, but it tends to cluster in the San Fernando Valley because it’s hotter and more humid there than other parts of the county. Besides the preventive measures, Sun said residents can also call vector control to have a representative come out and inspect a home or property for any potential mosquito issues free of charge. The agency can also be called if a potential issue is found on public property, such as a park or street gutter. According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, West Nile virus can be found in nature in birds. It’s transmitted when a mosquito feeds on an infected bird and then subsequently feeds on a human or other mammal Most people infected with the virus do not exhibit any symptoms. The health department said for the small number of people who do show signs — usually one in five — it’s similar to having the flu (andy Nguyen) http://www.latimes.com/socal/glendale-news-press/news/tn-gnp-me-west-nile-glendale-20170921-story.html Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. http://www.fightthebitehawaii.com/ Dengue fever is a potentially deadly disease that is carried by humans and mosquitoes that are infected with human blood containing the dengue virus. It is most commonly transmitted to humans through mosquito bites, and secondarily to humans from blood transfusions infected with the virus. Dengue virus is found in four different serotypes, as dengue 1-4, and it is moderately similar genetically to yellow fever. What Can Occur When Infected with the Dengue Virus Milder cases of dengue virus infection result in dengue fever, while more serious cases result in dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Dengue fever begins to present itself as flu like symptoms, rash, pain and soreness for a period of two to ten days. A person who has traveled anywhere tropical and feels suddenly flu-like after being bitten by mosquitoes should consult their healthcare provider right away to ensure recovery. Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. The state has recently reached several milestones in mosquito-borne disease prevention and response ahead of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, which runs from June 25 to July 1, 2017. The state Department of Health says protecting Hawaiʻi from vector-borne diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya is a major undertaking. With the support of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health has been ramping up its vector control capacity by increasing staff positions on all islands, conducting training on mosquito surveillance and disease response protocols, and ensuring sufficient equipment and supplies are available to effectively respond to potential disease outbreaks from mosquitoes, should it be necessary. While staffing has increased statewide from 25 to 45 positions, the hub of activity has been on Hawaiʻi Island, which now has 15 dedicated vector control staff positions with a range of expertise including inspectors, specialists, and an entomologist. This week, DOH vector control staff are participating in a three-day workshop conference in Kona to evaluate response plans and undergo training on mosquito surveillance and abatement practices. “Having a well-equipped vector control program year-round is crucial to maintain monitoring and reduction of mosquitoes and other vectors even when we aren’t engaged in an active disease outbreak,” said Keith Kawaoka, DOH’s deputy director of the Environmental Health Administration. “Increased staffing means our Vector Control program will be ready to immediately respond to suspect or confirmed cases of mosquito-borne disease and have the resources to control mosquitoes and their breeding areas in order to reduce the risk of diseases spreading. Our Vector Control program is also a key partner in routine control of mosquito populations within the community through ongoing education, source reduction, and larviciding.” The Hawaiʻi Island District Health Office’s Vector Control Program has taken the lead to develop and implement strategies that will reduce mosquito activity and prevent breeding areas. Efforts include: Collaboration with Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council’s Mamalu Poepoe project to re-examine monitoring and abatement strategies at points-of-entry (i.e., airports, harbors, etc.) to increase the state’s biosecurity related to introductions of new species of disease carrying mosquitoes. Island-wide mosquito surveillance and mapping to identify present species and their prevalence and assess the risk to residents and visitors alike. Special attention is being paid to Aedes aegypti, which is an extremely efficient carrier of Zika, dengue and chikungunya. Ongoing studies to predict mosquito breeding patterns based on rainfall and other environmental and seasonal influences. Practicing, monitoring, and evaluating the effectiveness of abatement strategies conducted in public and residential areas. While vector control has been a crucial focal point, other department-wide efforts to better prepare the state to both prevent and respond to the possibility of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks, especially Zika, are underway and making substantial progress. Statewide Mosquito-borne Disease Response Plan Completed and Tested Drawing on lessons learned from the 2015–16 dengue outbreak, which was focused on Hawaiʻi Island and sickened 264 people, DOH collaborated with local, state, and federal partners to develop the Joint Hawaiʻi Mosquito-borne Disease Outbreak Emergency Operations Plan so that the state may be better prepared to respond to an outbreak, especially with the threat of Zika growing in regions worldwide. The plan provides essential and evidence-based guidance to state and county emergency management agencies prior to, during, and immediately after a mosquito-borne disease outbreak. Hawaiʻi’s plan is closely aligned with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plan guidance and further tailored for Hawaiʻi’s unique situation. DOH has hosted a series of tabletop exercises to collect feedback from partners and stakeholders. This year, exercises have been completed in Kauaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Counties, and another will take place in Honolulu later this week. DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division has added three staff members to enhance the efficiency of disease surveillance and investigation. Additional staff have improved collaboration between investigators and epidemiologists with partners, such as the State Laboratories Division and the Environmental Health Services Division, which houses the Vector Control Branch. Enhanced integration and coordination among these areas will ensure streamlined processes during emergency outbreak situations. State Laboratory Capacity Increasing The DOH State Laboratories Division in Pearl City is one of a handful public health laboratories in the nation with the capacity to test for dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses. This capacity allows our state to quickly turn around testing results for mosquito-borne diseases in the Pacific. In response to the most recent outbreak, SLD developed and refined its IgM testing (analysis of early antibodies in blood samples) capacity to address rising concerns about Zika infection. SLD is in the process of establishing plaque reduction neutralization testing, a more complex antibody testing process, for dengue and Zika. This will allow the state to better define cross reactive samples, which currently must be sent to CDC, and thus reduce the time to resolve final results. Birth Defects Surveillance Ongoing DOH’s Hawaii Birth Defects Program and DOCD have been working together to monitor mothers potentially affected by Zika since January 2016. Since Zika can be passed from a pregnant mother to her baby before or during birth, it is critical to collect data regarding them and their babies through their clinicians. Data are then contributed to the national Zika birth registry with the hope of better understanding congenital Zika infection, including its scope, risk, and incidence. Education and Outreach Campaign Public education efforts have been driven by the Fight the Bite program, a statewide campaign that urges Hawaiʻi to collectively prevent, prepare and protect against mosquito-borne diseases. A wide range of educational materials are available to arm the public with knowledge about these diseases and how they can take proactive measures in their communities. In addition to being made available online at www.fightthebitehawaii.com, DOH is working with health centers and clinics statewide to ensure providers are properly trained on how to use and distribute materials to their patients/clients. Earlier this year, DOH conducted for Hawaii’s clinicians the first ever statewide public health grand rounds webinar, which focused on the clinical management of Zika infection. For more information about mosquito-borne diseases, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease-types/mosquito-transmitted/. To access Fight the Bite educational materials, including print, video, and audio-based resources, visit www.fightthebitehawaii.com. (maui now) http://mauinow.com/2017/06/28/mosquito-response-in-hawaii-ramps-up-ahead-of-awareness-week/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. The Hottest Hawaiian Islands Not surprisingly, the two hottest islands for Classic Vacations in 2016 and so far in 2017 have been Oahu and Maui, says Hu. Specifically, Maui is hot because it makes a great fit for just about any kind of vacation from multigenerational travel to girls’ getaways to couples retreats. “Maui is an ideal place for nearly everyone – couples, families/multi-generation, girlfriend getaways or even those adventurers,” says Hu. “Consumers can get two different experiences when staying at the Kaanapali or Wailea resort areas.” Meanwhile, Oahu’s main draw is it robust culinary scene, especially in the destination’s Chinatown district. Some of Oahu’s more popular dining spots include The Pig and The Lady and Lucky Belly, which serves up Vietnamese fusions cuisine. But while Maui often attracts seasoned Hawaii travelers, Oahu is for the client who is just getting his or her feet wet in Hawaii travel. “Oahu is for first timers—we have a few new properties on Oahu such as the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina and also Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa on the west side of the island for those that want an escape from Waikiki, while still within driving distance to everything,” says Hu. “We also have a new property, The Laylow, Autograph Collection for those Millennials looking for some Hawaiian vintage charm with blends of midcentury modernism.” Hot Hotels As Hu mentioned, one of the hottest new hotels in Hawaii is The Laylow, a member of the Autograph Collection Hotels, which recently opened its doors following an extensive $60 million renovation. Located on the island of Oahu, The Laylow joins a portfolio of more than 100 independent hotels around the world. Set on the revitalized Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki, the hotel has 251 rooms. So, what are some other hot Hawaiian hotels that Hu recommends advisors keep an eye on? Hu says Hotel Wailea Relais & Chateaux, which has 72 suites with chic beach-house decor, is hot amongst honeymooners, while the all-suite Fairmont Kea Lani Maui remains hot with couples in general. Hu also mentioned the newly renovated Wailea Beach Resort Marriott Maui, which has a beautiful infinity pool with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean where families can enjoy brand new waterslides. “Other hot properties to mention are Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows; Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection; Four Seasons Resort Lanai, and Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina,” says Hu. Zika Has Had “Minimal Impact” on Destination Hu told us Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that has been responsible for some sinking tourism numbers in the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, has not hurt Hawaii as much as other destinations. “Zika has had minimal impact to Hawaii,” says Hu. “If anything, it might have shifted some demand away from Caribbean/Mexico destinations to a known quantity, such as Hawaii.” The Issue of Airbnb Whereas most destinations have now embraced the Airbnb phenomenon, Hawaiian tour operators are still struggling with how to handle this new presence in the industry. “Airbnb is becoming more of an issue for the property management companies,” says Hu. “Today’s owners have choices which causes barriers to all of us since those purchasing an Airbnb vacation may not have the same full service experience as going through a tour operator who sells through the management companies.” To compete, however, Hu told Travel Agent that Classic is exploring ideas to offer additional inventory. “Having said this, this trend is not abating and as operators, we need to find a way to play in this burgeoning market. Consumers are being trained to look at not only hotel inventory, but also private home inventory," he says. "To compete in this space, we are exploring various ideas of offering additional inventory from our sister company HomeAway.” Lanai Buzz The luxury hotel developments by billionaire Larry Ellison are already drawing major interest to Lanai from affluent travelers. The island, which is owned by Ellison, closed all of its resorts in 2015, except the 11-room Hotel Lanai. Today, the island is home to two Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts properties. “[Four Seasons is] very visible within the social media world and the team has done an amazing job with the product,” says Hu. “We offer the product and encourage people to consider the hotel if they are interested in having a different and new experience.” Following a multimillion-dollar transformation, the former Four Seasons at Manele Bay re-opened last year as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai and has been drawing major attention. It offers guests an escape on their own 90,000-acre secluded Hawaiian island nine miles across the Pacific from Maui. The Four Seasons Resort Lanai got even swankier in October with its new Specialty Suites, a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom accommodations that include exclusive services and amenities. Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, which was housing the construction workers for the island’s renovation projects, is expected to open later this year. Biggest Challenges in Selling Hawaii Due to flight availability, distance and cost, Hawaii can be a challenging pitch to East Coast clients, but Hu says he at least sees some relief coming on the airlift side. “Flights are sometimes an issue relative to other destinations, however Classic offers our air credit program that helps alleviate the overall package cost to the consumer,” says Hu. “Having said that, we believe relief is on the horizon as we see more lift coming into the islands, hopefully alleviating some of the supply/demand imbalance. With regards to hotel rates, we’ve seen rate increases moderate, but overall still expensive relative to other destinations (domestically and internationally).” Hawaii Looks to Grow LGBT market The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) recently commissioned studies of LGBT travelers from six markets, the U.S., Canada, China, Australia, Japan and Taiwan. The study was conducted so Hawaii tourism partners can learn more about the preferences and profiles of LGBT travelers and how they could customize their own marketing and services accordingly. “Anecdotally, we hear it is growing—but as you can imagine, this is not a statistic that we track,” says Hu. “We do have new programs that highlight LGBT programs. “For a long time now Hawaii has been recognized as an LGBT-friendly destination, especially by Baby Boomers,” says Hu. “Growth with other segments would be fantastic but loyalty is also key when you consider there are many other competing sand-and-surf destinations.” (joe Pike) http://www.travelagentcentral.com/people/classic-vacations-president-shares-hottest-trends-hawaii Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. THE CHALLENGE: The Zika Virus Meet the new Ebola. The Zika virus has disrupted tourism in such warm-weather destinations as Latin America and the Caribbean since it first broke onto the scene earlier this year. As people were first learning about this rare mosquito-borne disease that can cause birth defects if pregnant women or those looking to become pregnant are infected, clients avoided just about any place abroad that has mosquitoes, from Hawaii to the Caribbean to Mexico and just about all of Latin America. Carole-Anne Hughs Wood: “One difficult task of 2016 was correctly educating our team and our travelers about any true risk” posed by Zika. But as people began to educate themselves more on the disease, such places as Mexico and Hawaii became less of a concern, while only a handful of Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico in particular, are still seeing tourism numbers dip due to the Zika scare. “We are happy to see interest return to some of the amazing destinations and resorts in the Caribbean and even Mexico that were hit so hard in 2016 because of Zika concerns,” says Carole-Anne Hughs Wood, partner relations manager for Ultimate Jet Vacations. “One difficult task of 2016 was correctly educating our team and our travelers about any true risk, its level of severity, or lack thereof.” So what does this mean for 2017? Are clients now informed enough on Zika to know where to avoid? What do you tell a client who is thinking about vacationing in a Zika-infected area? Do you re-route them or simply tell them how to prevent contracting the disease? THE SOLUTION: Education Continues to Be Key Many advisors we spoke with say clients inquiring about Zika are still drastically misinformed. “Zika was a big topic in 2016,” says Zakharenko. “I educated myself and found countries that did not have any cases were a good way to deal with the clients’ concerns. Many heard about Zika, but did not know what it was, and others still wanted to travel and wanted to know where they could go.” Eric Grayson: “We’re vocal about any issues we have with an [app] update ... these app companies rise and fall on their user experience, so they tend to be receptive.” Just about every destination, even many in the U.S., has had cases of Zika. It is essential to explain the difference to clients between destinations that have cases and places that are home to the actual Zika-carrying mosquito. For example, Hawaii has had several cases, but they were all contracted from other destinations. This does not mean that Hawaii has Zika. This means a person who was bitten by a mosquito in another country brought it back to the Aloha State. But the infected person can only pass on the disease through sexual intercourse. The amount of people infected with Zika while visiting Hawaii remains zero. “There have been very few cases in the areas where most of our travelers have been and are booking in the Caribbean and Mexico,” says Hughs Wood. “For travelers with any continuing Zika concerns, we have had more interest in tropical destinations such as Hawaii and the Maldives. For those who have always had the Maldives on their bucket list, it seems some are using 2017 as a great opportunity to make the longer journey from the U.S. to the Indian Ocean.” And DavidTravel’s Rubin is also pitching Hawaii to clients scarred off by the virus. “In response to Zika concerns, I recommend that agents have a list of destinations where Zika is not a concern, such as Hawaii and Australia, etc.,” he says. Myste Wright: “As the accessibility to relevant content grows, I would definitely be interested in adding [virtual reality] as a sales and marketing tool.” Florida may also be considered as an alternative to international destinations. Initial findings from Travel Leaders Group’s 2017 Travel Trends Survey indicates that the Zika virus is having little effect on overall bookings to Florida, with Orlando maintaining its number-one ranking domestically and Miami continuing to hold a place in the Top 10. Nearly 81 percent of agents reported that their bookings to Florida are on a par with or higher than one year ago. For the record, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection declared, back on December 9, that Florida is Zika-free. (Joe Pike) http://www.travelagentcentral.com/running-your-business/2017-survival-guide Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. Mosquitoes have already caused a dengue fever outbreak in Hawaii. Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases may be close behind. Here’s what scientists are doing and what you should do. For most of Kepa Police’s life, mosquitoes were minor annoyances, simply to be swatted away. Then, just before Christmas, the 21-year old contracted dengue fever. “All I could do was lie down and space out for 10 days straight,” says the Hawaii Island resident. Five days of a high fever, intense chills, pain in his bones, a raging headache and nausea were followed by a full body rash as painful as a bad sunburn. “I can’t imagine being any sicker than I was then,” he says. Mosquito-borne diseases kill 1 million people a year globally, debilitating hundreds of millions more. Dengue fever, the fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease in the world, affects 400 million people every year and kills 25,000. The Zika virus is, according to the World Health Organization, “spreading explosively” across Latin America and has gained a foothold in American Samoa. “WE SHOULDN’T LOOK AT THIS AS JUST A BIG ISLAND PROBLEM. WE SHOULD LOOK AT THIS AS A STATEWIDE PROBLEM. THIS SHOULD BE AN ALL-HANDS-ON-DECK MOMENT FOR HAWAII.” -JOSH GREEN PHYSICIAN AND STATE SENATOR Since September 2015, there have been 263 confirmed cases of dengue on Hawaii Island and five cases of Zika brought to the state by people who contracted it elsewhere. Although these numbers do not indicate that either will become endemic, Hawaii’s tropical climate and popularity as a travel destination make it easy for mosquito-borne diseases to spread. What can we do to combat the most dangerous animal known to humans? Scientists, health officials and community members weigh in on what we need to know and do. AEDES AEGYPTI THRIVES WHERE HUMANS LIVE We don’t need to look far for the mosquito that transmits dengue and Zika. It has moved in with us. “Aedes aegypti is a domestic mosquito, one that we find in human dwellings. That’s what makes it a better vector than the other dengue transmitter, Aedes albopictus. It lives indoors right where the people are, and never moves from that habitat,” explains Dennis A. LaPointe, a research ecologist focused on mosquito biology at the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center. Within the state, Aedes aegypti is currently found only on Hawaii Island. Globally, however, it has spread across the southern U.S. as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean. Unlike other female mosquitoes that feed on a combination of animal blood and flowers, Aedes aegypti females have evolved to feed exclusively on human blood. They use some to maintain themselves and some to reproduce, biting more often than other mosquitoes, thus making disease transmission more likely. “They’ve adapted in such a way that they never have to look far for their host,” LaPointe adds. Unlike other mosquitoes, which require dirty, organically rich water for their eggs to survive, Aedes aegypti thrive in small amounts of clean water, such as rain in discarded tires, soda cans, curled leaves, pet bowls or even bottle caps. “These mosquitoes can breed in as little as a teaspoon of water. If you have a little tray or planter or area that’s shaded, and a little bit of water that can persist, that’s a potential breeding site, says Sarah Park, state epidemiologist and chief of the Disease Outbreak Control Division at the Hawaii Department of Health. TADITIONAL METHOS HAVE LIMITS Although insecticides have been used for decades, mosquitoes infect more people every year. Insects become resistant to some pesticides and people also resist them because of health concerns. Aerial spraying can be useful in emergencies, but only affects adult insects. “Four days later you have the same number of mosquitoes with a new larvae hatch. Unless you’re dropping malathion (a common pesticide) every few days, you’re not doing much good,” says David M. Morens, senior advisor to the director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Furthermore, because Aedes aegypti live inside with us, reaching them can be a challenge. “To control the mosquito, a public health authority has to have access to everyone’s home,” says Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry. “In a modern society, that’s not only impractical, but also unacceptable.” Larvicides, such as tablets applied to water, stop the next generation. But it can be difficult to find all the tiny places where they breed. “People are oftentimes well intentioned but may not realize some things hold water,” says Kacey C. Ernst, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Arizona. “Even if you could completely clear a yard, there may be something that you can’t see visually, and that can become a breeding site.” INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVES MAKE A DIFFERENCE Easter Aquino-Schorle used to let mosquitoes around her Hawaiian Paradise Park home limit her daily life. “I would avoid going out in the morning and evening. I’m one of those people – even if I were in a crowd of thousands, one mosquito would find me.” That was before she learned how to make mosquito traps. Since she started making them in January, she estimates she has killed about 600 eggs weekly. “I used to get bitten several times a day and, now, it’s down to just one or two times a week. Now I can go outside whenever I want.” Springstar, a Seattle company, offers ready-made traps, which mimic the mosquitoes’ breeding sites (springstar.net). Puna resident and retired scientist Van Eden runs workshops to teach people how to make their own. “The trap has a landing pad where the mosquito will end up to lay her eggs. You put poison on it, and when she lands on it, she gets a lethal dose. Then, to make sure none of the eggs produce mosquitoes, you put larvicide in the water. “None of this is hard to do,” says Eden. Officials and community members are also urging residents to clean the areas around their homes, paying special attention to old appliances, discarded tires, unused cars and other things that can become breeding sites. “We’ve been working with property owners with issues like standing water. These might be due to natural geographical features or manmade things like catchment systems. Going forward, we want to remove all opportunities for vectors to thrive,” says Hawaii County Civil Defense director Darryl Oliveira. TURNING MOSQUITO BIOLOGY AGAINST ITSELF Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry believes Aedes aegypti, what he calls “public enemy No. 1,” can be permanently eradicated. His company, based in the United Kingdom, has developed genetically modified male Aedes aegypti with a “self-limiting gene.” When these males are released and mate with wild females, their eggs hatch but the larvae die within a few days, before they become disease-transmitting and breeding adults. And the larvae compete with viable larvae for food during their brief lives. “Our inspiration is using mosquito biology against itself,” says Parry. Trials have been conducted in Cayman, Panama and Brazil, and, in one case, researchers observed a 99 percent decrease in the Aedes aegypti population. Parry says that, although some may have reservations about the idea of genetic modification, their mosquitoes pose no harm to the environment or other organisms. “The self-limiting gene is not toxic or allergenic. It just effectively stops the insect’s growth. If a bat comes along and eats one of our insects, they get a bit of fat and protein just like a normal mosquito. “THESE MOSQUITOES CAN BREED IN AS LITTLE AS A TEASPOON OF WATER.” -SARAH PARK STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, TALKING ABOUT THE SPECIES AEDES AEGYPTI “Furthermore,” Parry continues, “since the larvae die, it’s a genetic dead end. There is no persistence in the environment. From a safety of environment point of view, this is leaps ahead of insecticides.” Another technique is to sterilize the males by exposing them to gamma irradiation. In fact, the International Atomic Energy Agency has been developing sterile fruit flies, tse tse flies, screw worms and moths for several decades, according to Peter A. Follett, research entymologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center. BACTERIA OFFER NATURAL SOLUTIONS Instead of focusing on sterility, Eliminate Dengue, a nonprofit based in Australia, uses a natural bacteria called Wolbachia (which is present in up to 60 percent of all insects) to block viruses within the mosquitoes themselves. “Research to date suggests that Wolbachia can boost the natural immune system of the mosquito, which makes it harder for the mosquito to support infections like dengue and Zika. If the mosquito can’t get infected, then it can’t transmit it to humans,” explains program lead Scott O’Neill. Because Wolbachia does not naturally occur in Aedes aegypti, the bacteria come from fruit flies and are injected into the mosquito eggs. Female Aedes aegypti with Wolbachia are then released into the wild. Once they mate, they pass the bacteria to their eggs. The goal is to sustain high levels of Wolbachia in wild mosquito populations, as the bacteria are inherited from generation to generation. Thus, unlike other approaches, the goal is not to eliminate mosquitoes, but to eliminate their ability to transmit disease. “Yes, the mosquitoes will still bite and make you itchy, but they won’t make you sick,” says Shane Fairlie, communications and engagement manager. Scott says they are very encouraged by their results, and are planning their first large-scale citywide trial in Indonesia this year. “Long-term monitoring in our international project sites has shown Wolbachia is sustaining itself at high levels in the majority of these sites up to five years after application. In areas where mosquito populations have high levels of Wolbachia, we haven’t seen any significant local transmission of dengue.” HAWAII AT THE FOREFRONT Organizations in Hawaii are also playing leading roles in the global effort to fight mosquito-borne diseases. Hawaii Biotech, established in 1982, specializes in vaccines for tropical diseases, as well as drugs to block bacteria, such as anthrax, that can be used for bioterrorism. Instead of using live viruses to make vaccines, they work with molecular biology to create proteins that mimic the viral proteins. “This is a very high-tech form of biotechnology. We’ve chosen this approach because the proteins themselves are very safe, and it’s very easy for us to do the work without a lot of precautions, since we’re not using anything infectious,” says president and CEO Elliot Parks. Hawaii Biotech has developed a variety of vaccine candidates, including ones for West Nile, tick-borne flaviviruses, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and chikungunya. A few years ago, Hawaii Biotech sold its early stage dengue vaccine candidate to Merck, the largest vaccine company in the world, where it continues to be developed. They are now working on a dengue vaccine to protect military personnel in tropical or subtropical regions, where immediate and complete immunity is critical. Over the last few months, Hawaii Biotech has also turned its attention to developing a vaccine for the most talked-about virus today. “Zika is in the same family of viruses as dengue and West Nile. The fact that we’ve taken two of the three of these into clinical trials gives us a leg up,” says Parks. Hawaii is also home to one of only a small number of state labs in the U.S. where blood specimens can be tested for mosquito-borne diseases. “As late as 2011, we didn’t have the diagnostic capacity in the state for dengue. We had to send everything to the CDC Puerto Rico lab, which added much more complexity and time,” says state epidemiologist Sarah Park. “We can now test for all three of these threats – dengue, Zika and chikungunya. We’re only one of nine public health labs outside of the CDC that have this kind of capacity in the U.S.,” says Park. The state lab not only handles cases within Hawaii, but throughout the Pacific. “There are not a lot of lab-testing capabilities in these small island nations and U.S. territories. We’ve become kind of a big brother to these jurisdictions,” says A. Christian Whelen, administrator for the Hawaii Department of Health’s State Laboratories Division. The lab is thus often the first to detect viruses in the region: for instance, in 2014, it discovered chikungunya in American Samoa. More recently, it confirmed Zika is circulating there. Many people travel between the Pacific islands and Hawaii, so Whelen and his team pay close attention to these cases. “Knowing what’s happening in those communities helps us prepare for what may impact Hawaii,” he says. INFORMATION MUST SPREAD SWIFTLY AND WIDELY Karen Anderson, a resident of Captain Cook on Hawaii Island, founded the Hawaii Dengue Fever Awareness Facebook page for people to discuss the outbreak. With over 1,500 members, the group shares information on vector control, new cases, trapping techniques and public areas that require cleanup. Evident in the posts, however, are people’s frustration over the state’s response. “People outreach has been really poor in terms of information dissemination. Back in December, the CDC came out and issued its assessment that the state’s public communication capacity was woefully inadequate,” says Anderson. “We need more press conferences, panels, discussions and Q&A’s online. People need to know how serious it is. So many people here know there’s a dengue outbreak, but don’t know anything about the virus.” Cutbacks in 2009 reduced the state’s vector-control program to a third of what it was. “Ideally we’d have more capacity on the vector side,” admits state epidemiologist Sarah Park. “A good vector-control program would include a lot of field assessments, public health education with stakeholders on mosquito prevention and surveys to understand where mosquitoes tend to breed and where they are likely to be.” Many of those interviewed for this article praised the Department of Health’s successful response to the 2001 dengue outbreak on Maui as a worthy model. Bruce S. Anderson, now administrator for the Division of Aquatic Resources, ran the Department of Health then. He describes a more urgent response led by the DOH, backed by more than 80 vector-control staff. There was an aggressive media campaign, including TV spots, and press conferences were held daily. Tens of thousands of brochures were sent to homeowners and passed out at the airport. Officials went door to door. “We sent our staff from the Health Department out on weekends, and there were literally thousands of people talking to residents about the importance of eliminating potential mosquito-breeding areas,” Anderson says. There were 122 confirmed cases, less than half of the latest outbreak. THINK AND ACT LOCAL Bill Cullum, who works on a farm in Captain Cook, came down with dengue symptoms just before Thanksgiving. Once he was tested, it took over two weeks to get his results. “The procedure was unclear, and there was so much back and forth between the physicians and the DOH. Each place told me I had to call the other one to get my results.” Since testing for dengue can only be done at the state lab on Oahu, the fastest turnaround for Neighbor Island residents is around five days. However, as Cullum’s experience demonstrates, administrative hiccups, weekend closures and the logistics of sending specimens to Oahu can all create delays. By the time results arrive, people may no longer be infectious. “We had pushed to get testing to be moved to the Big Island. All it requires is a small room, but the DOH didn’t want to move it. That’s how you get a handle on the epidemic. If we start having cases of Zika, we are going to need to be much more proactive in isolating those cases so people aren’t moving around and spreading it,” says state Rep. Richard Creagan, a physician and former bioterrorism preparedness epidemiologist for the state Department of Health. Creagan points to another local concern that may not be well understood outside of Hawaii Island – the dependence on catchment. “What people in Oahu don’t appreciate is how dependent we are on rainwater. Twenty-thousand homes are on catchment. Catchment tanks are potential breeding areas for mosquitoes, and most people don’t maintain their tanks the way they ideally should. That’s not something the Health Department has wrapped its head around yet.” Another issue is the reluctance to seek help, say, when you do not have health insurance or gas money to get to a clinic. “You can go to the ER, but people are afraid they will get slapped with a big bill, won’t get tested and will just sit there and suffer,” says Hawaiian Paradise Park resident Kealoha Tam, who says she knows several people who exhibited dengue-like symptoms, but did not seek medical help. That’s why state senator and physician Josh Green believes the confirmed number of dengue cases underreports the problem. “We knew large numbers had dengue who didn’t get tested. Thank goodness none were life threatening, but, at the same time, it means we have an incomplete assessment of where dengue and mosquitoes are clustered.” Both Green and Creagan have proposed mobile medical units, in-home visits and other services so people do not have to travel when they are sick. Tourism numbers rose early this year, indicating the dengue outbreak has not affected the economy, but the reality for small businesses in dengue hot spots is less rosy. “Local businesses are saying they have lost two seasons of tourists. Some South Kona areas, where beaches were closed, have been having a rough season,” says Green. What Hawaii Island officials emphasize is the importance of understanding local realities, rather than using an Oahu-centric lens. “Because people in charge don’t live on the Big Island, they don’t have a feeling for what goes on here,” says Creagan. “They don’t understand how it started, and how it’s spreading. They would if they were based here. WE MUST REMAIN VIGILANT As of March, the numbers of new dengue cases has slowed considerably, and there’s no evidence that Zika is being transmitted within the state. Nonetheless, the scientists, health officials and community members interviewed for this piece all stress we should not become complacent David M. Morens, senior advisor to the director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, worked for 17 years in the epidemiology department at UH Manoa, heading a research lab with a focus on dengue and Zika. “One of the lessons learned is that, in a tropical area like Hawaii, the setup for having an epidemic is always going to be there until all the mosquitoes are eradicated. People like me think of it as a recurrent accident waiting to happen.” For the long term, global climate change may mean more mosquitoes in more places. “There are studies that show malaria is present in n Africa at higher elevations than it used to be. Mosquitoes are also surviving at higher elevations in Central America as well,” says Korine Kolivras, associate professor in the geography department at Virginia Tech. “Shifting patterns of rainfall could be important. And everything reproduces more quickly at warmer temperatures,” she adds. Since the Aedes aegypti eggs can withstand drought for a year or more, fewer mosquitoes during a dry season does not mean they are gone for good. “If we don’t do anything and we have the kind of rainy season we had last year in Kona, then we can forget about it. It’s a lost cause,” says Karen Anderson, founder of the Hawaii Dengue Fever Awareness Facebook page. Hawaii’s popularity with tourists increases the likelihood of disease transmission. “This is a travel hub. And we have these environmental and recreational facilities that are prime places for harboring and sustaining mosquitoes. We need to raise the level of awareness of how vulnerable we really are,” says Hawaii County Civil Defense director Darryl Oliveira. Although the recent dengue outbreak has been confined to Hawaii Island, state senator Josh Green urges everyone who thinks this is not their problem, to think again. “If we get unlucky, and there’s an outbreak in a main tourist area like Waikiki, we could see a 20 percent decline in tourism dollars. That would be devastating to our tax base, which provides for public safety, education and hospitals,” says Green. “We shouldn’t look at this as just a Big Island problem. We should look at this as a statewide problem. This should be an all-hands-on-deck moment for Hawaii.” SHORT ANSWERS TO BIG QUESTIONS What are dengue’s symptoms? A high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding such as in the nose or gums. Younger children and those with their first dengue infection may have milder symptoms. What are Zika’s symptoms? Symptoms can be similar to dengue. The most common include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain and headache. Most people, however, may not exhibit any symptoms. In April, scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they had conclusively linked the Zika virus with severe fetal brain defects, including microcephaly, a birth defect in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected, often due to abnormal brain development during pregnancy. In Brazil, health authorities have also observed that Zika infections coincide with an increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome, a sickness of the nervous system than can lead to paralysis. How are dengue and Zika spread? Both are transmitted to people by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Dengue cannot be spread directly from person to person. Zika, however, can be spread from an infected mother to her fetus or to her newborn around the time of birth. Zika can also be sexually transmitted through semen from infected males to females. There are still many unknowns, however, including whether a woman can pass the virus to a man through sex. How are dengue and Zika treated? There is no specialized medication for either. People who exhibit symptoms should rest, drink plenty of fluids, and use pain relievers with acetaminophen while avoiding those containing aspirin, which could worsen bleeding. Most important, consult a physician. Is there a vaccine? No vaccine is available in the U.S. to prevent either, although there is a dengue vaccine registered for use in dengue endemic areas of Mexico, the Philippines and Brazil. How long is someone infectious? During the incubation period, large amounts of the virus are present in a person’s blood. That’s when an uninfected mosquito can pick up viruses that can be transferred to other humans. The incubation period for dengue is typically four to seven days after the infectious mosquito bite. The incubation period for Zika is about three to 12 days after the bite. If I’ve gotten it once, does that mean I’m immune forever? There are four strains of dengue fever. If you have gotten dengue fever once, you have immunity only for that strain. Evidence suggests an increased risk of developing severe dengue if you are exposed to a different strain. It is suspected that, once you get Zika, you have lifelong immunity. However, more research needs to be done. On Feb. 12, Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. What does this mean? That is a preventive measure to guard against dengue, Zika and other diseases. It gives the government access to the state’s Major Disaster Fund and the option of waiving certain laws and regulations to expedite a response if needed. It also paves the way for federal assistance if the state exhausts its designated resources. The state of emergency does not mean there are any travel restrictions to Hawaii. What areas have been affected by the dengue outbreak? At this issue’s press deadline, the state Department of Health said the current risk areas for dengue were all on Hawaii Island: • Moderate risk: Milolii • Some risk: Kailua-Kona, Captain Cook, Volcano This shortcut takes you to a regularly updated map of risk areas: tinyurl.com/denguemap. What should I do if I’m in those areas? • When outdoors, use mosquito repellents, and wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants tucked into socks. • When indoors, use air conditioning if available. • Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes. • If you have symptoms of dengue or Zika, seek a medical professional immediately. (Lianne YU) http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/hawaii-business-environmental-report-mosquitoes/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. It's going to stop raining ... someday. And when that day comes, hopefully it falls on one of these free National Park weekends. Entrance fees to all 124 National Parks that normally charge for tickets will be waived on April 15-16 and 22-23 in honor of National Park Week. The California parks participating in the free day are: Cabrillo National Monument Death Valley National Park Joshua Tree National Park Lassen Volcanic National Park Lava Beds National Monument Muir Woods National Monument Pinnacles National Park San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Yosemite National Park LAHAINA, Maui — This tropical town may be better known for its touristy souvenir shops and cafes, but a stroll along Lahaina’s waterfront yields a glimpse into Hawaii’s past, from its whaling days to King Kamehameha’s extracurricular activities. Some walking tour maps suggest that you include 28+ historic stops on your stroll — and start early in the day, so you don’t swoon from the heat as you contemplate Herman Melville’s cousin’s grave and a tennis court that was once the site of a sacred pond. We may be die-hard history buffs, but 28 seems like a lot. Besides, there’s a beach waiting — and the promise of margaritas. So we’ve narrowed the field to an eye-popping eight and traced a path that leads from Lahaina’s spectacular banyan tree to dinner and cocktails. Consider it a Lahaina history appetizer. And if you’re still hungry for more, check out the extensive trail map designed by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation (lahainarestoration.org), which has spent decades restoring and mapping 65 historically important sites in Kamehameha’s royal capital. (jackie Burnell) http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/24/hawaii-getaway-a-blast-to-lahainas-historic-past/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray . W.S. Merwin puts a blueberry on the railing of his lanai for a cardinal that visits him every morning at his home in Peahi. Cardinals, doves, thrushes and other birds sing and flit through the forest filled with thousands of palms and other trees that engulf the renowned poet’s quiet and peaceful home. Mosquitoes arising from water in bromeliads and palms and pockets in the dry bed of the Peahi Stream buzz bomb and bite. Walking down the steep trail, partly formed on old pineapple furrows, 2,740 palms of all kinds fill the landscape, as many as 50 species visible at a glance. There are palms that shoot to the sky through the forest canopy. One has a fur coat to protect it from the Himalayan cold. Another has sharp thorns that may have helped fend off dinosaurs. The cardinal likely makes his daily visits because of the labors of the poet, not to hear his poems, but to fly through the magnificent forest Merwin meticulously nurtured from the Peahi scrubland he bought 40 years ago. The ecosystem was built palm by palm, using only hand tools. His wife, Paula, later joined him, planting the ground cover that helps the palms flourish and dresses up the brown Haiku clay. It is said the walking irises were in full bloom the day before she died in March. (Lee Imada) Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray . http://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2017/09/merwins-garden/ THE EXPERIENCE This is a wet, slightly slippery, very fun trail for the whole family―provided everyone has footwear with good traction. You’ll be stepping over and under branches, through mud and on some mossy rocks, so expect to get a bit dirty before reaching the falls―especially if there’s been some Windward rain. Being a much less traveled hike than, say, Makapuʻu, Likeke makes for a relaxing journey―but we don’t recommend going solo. There’s always a chance of getting lost, especially if it’s your first time. It makes for a great stroll with family and friends, furry ones included. The keiki seemed to like the adventure aspect; even the really little ones―which we kept strapped to Mom or Dad. THE PAYOFF The flowing waterfall at the end is beautiful and peaceful―not to mention a great place to dip your toes and splash around. And, of course, photo ops abound. (Lennie Omalza) http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/March-2017/Oahu-Hike-of-the-Month-Likeke-Falls/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. As the wheels of my car pound the wooden planks of the one-way bridge into Hanalei Valley, all signs of modernity seem to fall away. No crowds, no traffic lights, no foreign noise. Just a carpet of shock-green kalo (taro) and the Hanalei River, wide and placid, gently gliding toward the sea. Traveling down the dirt road that divides the taro fields from the river, I forget about all the emails awaiting response in my inbox. Ahead, the raw Hawaiian jungle beckons me. My destination on this humid day is the Okolehao Trail. The 2.3-mile hiking path ascends 1,232 feet up Hihimanu Ridge to the majestic twin peaks that punctuates this quaint north shore surf town’s skyline. Perched atop Hanalei’s mountainous crown, the world is bound to look a bit greener. My agenda: Go there and, along the way, clear my mind. Driving into the valley, I’m the only soul in sight, save for a family of nene, the endangered Hawaiian goose, waddling across the road. I brake for the honking bird quartet and take a moment to appreciate the encounter with some of the world’s rarest geese. When the path is clear, the largest nene lengthens its neck and sounds a final honk. I take it as a signal to continue rolling toward the mountains, spread wide and jagged across the plain like a jaw of sharpened teeth. Okolehao is a moderate trail—easier in dry conditions and more difficult when goopy with mud, which is most often the case in this verdant valley. Rainfall is 99 percent more plentiful in Hanalei than anywhere else in the United States. After periods of heavy showers, a walking stick is a must. (Brittany Lyte) http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/content/hike-above-hanalei-summit-kauais-okolehao-trail Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. We’ve reached the point that most people don’t look forward to—the Road to Hana’s famous twists and stomach-churning turns. From the passenger seat, I watch the driver grip the steering wheel with both hands as he turns it all the way left, all the way right, then left again with so much precision and effort that it reminds me of those parking lot road tests, albeit an extreme version. But, there are no orange traffic cones directing our way, and the hairpin turns along Hana Highway’s coastline are not ending anytime soon. It’s morning, and we have at least two more hours of driving to go. Our final destination is not Hana, but the okana (district) of Kipahulu, 12 miles past Hana in a section of Maui that many forget is part of Haleakala National Park. Overshadowed by the volcano’s 10,023-foot summit and enormous Mars-like crater, Kipahulu, which was added to the park in 1969, rests on the outside of the mauna (mountain) near the ocean. Its Hawaiian name literally means “fetch from exhausted gardens”—a reference to its fertile land of abundant streams and waterfalls that Native Hawaiians used to create sophisticated agricultural systems, remnants of which can still be seen. (Christine Hitt) http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/content/hiking-pipiwai-trail-waimoku-falls-haleakala-national-park THE EXPERIENCE Makiki Valley Loop Trail encompasses three trails (Kanealole Trail, Makiki Valley Trail and Maunalaha Trail), which might make it seem long and confusing, but not to worry. A mere 2.5 miles, it makes for a nice workout in a fairly easy-to-navigate setting. (Read and follow the signs!) The journey begins just past Hawaiʻi Nature Center, on Makiki Heights Drive. Hikers can park in the lot on the left near the green gate and walk a bit farther up to find the start of the trail on the right-hand side. Past the restrooms and water faucet, there’s a bridge over the stream, which leads to the Kanealole and Maunalaha trail signs. We followed the arrows up the steps until reaching the Makiki Valley Loop Trail welcome sign and map. Hiking counterclockwise on Maunalaha Trail gets the steeper part out of the way first. Making the trek isn’t terribly difficult, but there are a lot of tree roots and rocks. It might be a bit much for little ones, although on our way, there were other hikers of all ages (and seemingly all fitness levels) on the trail, including four-legged friends. (Lennie Omalza) http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/April-2017/Oahu-Hike-of-the-Month-Makiki-Valley-Loop-Trail/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. For the past seven months, I’ve had to explain myself to others: I’m hiking the 11-mile Kalalau Trail on the Napali Coast of Kauai. I’ll be off the grid for four days and three nights with absolutely no cell phone service. I’m carrying with me food, some water and a tent. Yes, it’s dangerous. Yes, people have died on this trail. And, yes, I really want to do it. The responses to me were the same. Most women would give me the Wow, you’re really doing that? look, followed by the question, “You’re going with someone, right?” Numerous times, I’d answer, “Yes, I’m going with a group; there are four of us.” Men were the ones who were excited about my adventure, especially my dad. “If it were me, I’d probably drink right out of the waterfall,” he told me over the phone after I explained to him my well-planned water-purification process. (Christine Hitt) http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/content/wild-napali-hikers-journey-kalalau-trail Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. As if amazing hikes and superb views weren’t enough, Instagram users have unveiled what lies in the lush valleys of Hawaii... and it’s an actual water slide. The 35-foot conduit below pumps water from Mother Nature herself and is tucked deep in the forest of Waipio Valley on the Big Island. You won’t be able to find it on a map because it’s on government property and is restricted to the public. But that hasn’t stopped people from illegally trespassing to get to it, risking hefty fines and their safety just to get their splash on. (Lauren Aratini) https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jungle-waterslide-hawaii_us_57a3d15de4b021fd987827ca Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. Best Hiking Trails on Big Island Hiking Adventures on Big Island The Big Island has some of the best hiking trails in all of Hawaii; whether you're a hard-core trekker or just want to stroll and admire the scenery. Here are a few of our favorite Big Island excursions to get you started. We've included a bit of what to expect along the trail as well as what makes each hike to special. https://www.hawaii-guide.com/big_island_of_hawaii/hiking_trails Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. The Big Island is an outdoor paradise for hikers. The low population density, miles and miles of hiking trails, waterfalls and so many different climate zones make hiking one of our favorite pastimes on the island. The outdoors in Hawai`i are ever-changing, and a hike can take you to coastal dunes, shrub lands, rainforests, and even high alpine deserts. You can find hiking trails on the Big Island for all levels of skill and fitness. From the beginner level scenic hikes such as the Onomea trailnorth of Hilo, to the more rigorous Halini Pali 7-mile trail down the side of the Kilauea volcano, to the multi day, 35 mile, Mauna Loa trail. https://www.lovebigisland.com/big-island-hiking/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. The island of Hawaii is heaven for hikers. Whether you’re looking for a challenging trail on fields of lava or short, scenic hikes through historic sites, you’ll find it here. Most hiking adventures begin in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which offers more than 150-miles of trails. Stroll through Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube), take a day hike along Chain of Craters Road or walk over volcanic fields to witness the power of creation as lava flows into the sea in Kalapana. For the well-equipped and experienced backpackers, hike overnight in the park's backcountry. See a ranger at the Kilauea Visitor Center to get trail information, maps and permits. Other famous hikes can be found on the Kona Coast on the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, also known as the King’s Trail. This 175-mile trail weaves through hundreds of important cultural sites including sacred heiau (temples), Hawaiian fishponds, petroglyphs and other historic sites. You’ll also find a variety of other amazing hikes including the Pololu Valley Lookout in North Kohala which leads to a black sand beach and guided hikes into lush Waipio Valley, known as the Valley of Kings. (Hawaii tourism board) https://www.gohawaii.com/islands/hawaii-big-island/things-to-do/land-activities/Hiking Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray Aloha Big Island residents and visitors! I invite you to plan your next exciting hiking adventure on the Big Island. Each one of the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands offer a host of incredible hikes, but the hiking trails on the Island of Hawai’i are some of the best in the world! With trails that range from easy walks to more challenging day long journeys, there is truly something for everyone. No matter your skill and energy level, or the size of your group, there are just so many amazing hiking opportunities on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Explore volcanic terrain, and lush green valleys all the way to protected coastlines and beaches. Feel the essence of Hawai’i fill you with fresh air, and all the mana of Hawai’i’s natural beauty and grace. Lace up your boots, grab your board shorts and bikinis, pick up some water and trail mix and get going!(Alexandra Mitchell) http://bigislandnow.com/2015/01/23/must-do-hikes-to-big-island-beaches/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray

HAWAIIAN GARDENS (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Monday launched the “It’s Not Just a Bite”campaign to warn people about avoiding mosquito-borne viruses, like West Nile and Zika. Health workers will go door to door to 20,000 homes, businesses and schools to hand out packets to spread the word and help keep people safe from the potentially deadly diseases. “Summer may have ended last week, but mosquito season has not,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said at news conference in Hawaiian Gardens on Monday. Just in the last week, 17 new cases of the West Nile virus were reported in L.A. county, bringing the number of cases this year to 98. Six of those led to death. In Los Angeles County, mosquito season peaks May through November. So the health department is working with the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District to make people aware of mosquito-borne diseases and take the proper precautions. Kelly Middleton, vector control’s director of community affairs, said it only takes a 1/4 of an inch of standing water to breed hundreds of mosquitoes. “We have new invasive mosquitoes that have moved into Southern California. We have quite a few of them in L.A. County – three different species, and they are spreading very rapidly, ” Middleton said. She also warned of a new type of mosquito that bites even during the day. “These new aedes mosquitos – they are kind of a game changer for us. It’s going to change our way of life in Southern California,” she added. Experts said that is because they are capable of carrying the Zika virus, which is especially dangerous to pregnant women and known to cause devastating birth defects. This new type of mosquitos survive well here because they lay eggs right above the water line. “So when that water fills up and gets those eggs wet, they hatch out. And those eggs can remain inside a bucket or trash can for years,” Middleton warned. Mosquitoes don’t fly very far. So if you are getting bites at home, they are in your yard or possibly your neighbors’, vector control officials explained. They urge neighbors to work together to get rid of any standing water and wear mosquito repellent when you are outdoors. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/09/25/campaign-prevent-mosquito-borne-illnesses/ CBS Los angeles Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

174 Californians infected this year, eight dead West Nile virus comes to California every year but often gets less attention than newer diseases, like Zika, in part because it’s been such a constant threat. There have been cases of West Nile, which originated in Africa, in the state every year for the last 15 years. West Nile virus lives in birds, and mosquitoes become infected when they bite those birds. Humans contract the illness when bitten by those mosquitoes. Nationwide, people typically begin falling sick in the summer as mosquito populations boom and decrease in the winter when mosquitoes stop breeding. West Nile has been diagnosed in 48 states this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In California, 174 people have been found to have West Nile virus this year, including eight who have died, according to state data released Friday. By the end of last year’s West Nile season, 442 people had fallen sick and 19 had died. Most people who get West Nile don’t have any symptoms or suffer for a few days from a fever, vomiting or a rash. But one out of every 150 people develops serious problems, including swelling of the brain or meningitis, vision loss, coma or paralysis that can last several weeks — or become permanent. People 50 and older or whose immune systems are compromised are most likely to suffer from these severe consequences, but every year a few younger people also experience them, Schwartz said. Shepherd developed this severe form of West Nile, called neuroinvasive disease. Griffin said her grandmother was an active 84-year-old who lived alone in a house in West Covina. She’d never had a heart attack, stroke or cancer. She took tai chi and water aerobics classes every week. A photograph of Julie Shepherd on the mantel at Shepherd's home in West Covina. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times) Two weeks before she was hospitalized, she complained of being tired, Griffin said, but her family didn’t think much of it. “‘Grandma, you’re 84 years old, feel free to take a nap in the afternoon,” Griffin, 37, remembered saying. But then Shepherd stopped answering her phone. When her family couldn’t reach her, they asked a neighbor to enter the house, where she found Shepherd lying on the floor, disoriented. Hours later, Shepherd was unable to move at all and seemed as though she couldn’t recognize people, Griffin said. Tests came back positive for West Nile. Shepherd had a garden in her backyard, which could have bred mosquitoes. Health officials have also found mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus at a park near her house. ‘People don’t understand how prevalent it is’ Every year there are mosquitoes in every city in the San Gabriel Valley carrying West Nile virus, said Jason Farned, operations manager for the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District. Griffin said that since her grandmother fell ill, she’s been talking to friends and neighbors about West Nile. Many people have never heard of it, or don’t know it can be fatal, she said. “It’s definitely not a new thing, but for some reason people don’t understand how prevalent it is,” she said. “I didn’t until it happened to my grandma.” Officials say that though 80 West Nile cases have been reported in L.A. County this year, the real number is probably in the thousands, since most people exhibit no symptoms and thus don’t go to a doctor to get tested. Where in L.A. County is the highest risk? Health officials say that cities where people have already fallen sick are most likely to have more cases in the coming months, Schwartz said. West Nile cases have been reported in the San Gabriel Valley, Antelope Valley, the Pomona area, Torrance, the San Fernando Valley, Glendale and Los Feliz. Experts recommend wearing insect repellent when outside, especially at dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes that spread West Nile are most active. Homeowners also should clear out standing water from flower pots or fountains, which can breed mosquitoes, and make sure check their pool pumps are working so there isn’t stagnant water in which insects can breed. On Wednesday, mosquito control workers visited homes in downtown Glendale and in Los Feliz to spread the word about the increased risk of West Nile there, said Levy Sun, spokesman for the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District, which oversees insect control in those regions. Testing shows that there are abnormally high numbers of mosquitoes carrying West Nile in Glendale, Los Feliz, Atwater Village and Elysian Valley, he said. “It may seem silly to some people to worry about mosquito bites,” Sun said. “But no one forgets when they or a family member becomes sick with West Nile virus.” Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times Diseases and Illnesses West Nile Virus http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-west-nile-20170923-story.html Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

Th eight cases of West Nile virus reported in Glendale so far this year, health officials took part in a door-to-door education campaign Wednesday, informing residents of what they can do to protect themselves from infection. Conducted by the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, the effort informed residents in Glendale, Los Feliz and Atwater Village about the preventive measures they can take to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. Levy Sun, a spokesman for vector control, said wearing insect repellent and dumping out any stagnant water near homes are measures people should take reguHe said those actions were specifically targeted in the campaign because of the high concentration of people with West Nile virus in Glendale. Additionally, Sun said three traps set up by vector control officials in Glendale all turned up positive for the virus. “We are now in the peak of mosquito season,” he said. “We can see it lasting until late November if the weather continues to stay warm.” In Burbank, only one person has been reported to have contracted the virus this year, while 32 cases have been reported in Los Angeles. Sun said the virus is fairly common and widespread throughout L.A. County, but it tends to cluster in the San Fernando Valley because it’s hotter and more humid there than other parts of the county. Besides the preventive measures, Sun said residents can also call vector control to have a representative come out and inspect a home or property for any potential mosquito issues free of charge. The agency can also be called if a potential issue is found on public property, such as a park or street gutter. According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, West Nile virus can be found in nature in birds. It’s transmitted when a mosquito feeds on an infected bird and then subsequently feeds on a human or other mammal Most people infected with the virus do not exhibit any symptoms. The health department said for the small number of people who do show signs — usually one in five — it’s similar to having the flu (andy Nguyen) http://www.latimes.com/socal/glendale-news-press/news/tn-gnp-me-west-nile-glendale-20170921-story.html Bloc the bite, Bloc all natural mosquito spray

Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. http://www.fightthebitehawaii.com/ Dengue fever is a potentially deadly disease that is carried by humans and mosquitoes that are infected with human blood containing the dengue virus. It is most commonly transmitted to humans through mosquito bites, and secondarily to humans from blood transfusions infected with the virus. Dengue virus is found in four different serotypes, as dengue 1-4, and it is moderately similar genetically to yellow fever. What Can Occur When Infected with the Dengue Virus Milder cases of dengue virus infection result in dengue fever, while more serious cases result in dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Dengue fever begins to present itself as flu like symptoms, rash, pain and soreness for a period of two to ten days. A person who has traveled anywhere tropical and feels suddenly flu-like after being bitten by mosquitoes should consult their healthcare provider right away to ensure recovery. Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. The state has recently reached several milestones in mosquito-borne disease prevention and response ahead of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, which runs from June 25 to July 1, 2017. The state Department of Health says protecting Hawaiʻi from vector-borne diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya is a major undertaking. With the support of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health has been ramping up its vector control capacity by increasing staff positions on all islands, conducting training on mosquito surveillance and disease response protocols, and ensuring sufficient equipment and supplies are available to effectively respond to potential disease outbreaks from mosquitoes, should it be necessary. While staffing has increased statewide from 25 to 45 positions, the hub of activity has been on Hawaiʻi Island, which now has 15 dedicated vector control staff positions with a range of expertise including inspectors, specialists, and an entomologist. This week, DOH vector control staff are participating in a three-day workshop conference in Kona to evaluate response plans and undergo training on mosquito surveillance and abatement practices. “Having a well-equipped vector control program year-round is crucial to maintain monitoring and reduction of mosquitoes and other vectors even when we aren’t engaged in an active disease outbreak,” said Keith Kawaoka, DOH’s deputy director of the Environmental Health Administration. “Increased staffing means our Vector Control program will be ready to immediately respond to suspect or confirmed cases of mosquito-borne disease and have the resources to control mosquitoes and their breeding areas in order to reduce the risk of diseases spreading. Our Vector Control program is also a key partner in routine control of mosquito populations within the community through ongoing education, source reduction, and larviciding.” The Hawaiʻi Island District Health Office’s Vector Control Program has taken the lead to develop and implement strategies that will reduce mosquito activity and prevent breeding areas. Efforts include: Collaboration with Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council’s Mamalu Poepoe project to re-examine monitoring and abatement strategies at points-of-entry (i.e., airports, harbors, etc.) to increase the state’s biosecurity related to introductions of new species of disease carrying mosquitoes. Island-wide mosquito surveillance and mapping to identify present species and their prevalence and assess the risk to residents and visitors alike. Special attention is being paid to Aedes aegypti, which is an extremely efficient carrier of Zika, dengue and chikungunya. Ongoing studies to predict mosquito breeding patterns based on rainfall and other environmental and seasonal influences. Practicing, monitoring, and evaluating the effectiveness of abatement strategies conducted in public and residential areas. While vector control has been a crucial focal point, other department-wide efforts to better prepare the state to both prevent and respond to the possibility of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks, especially Zika, are underway and making substantial progress. Statewide Mosquito-borne Disease Response Plan Completed and Tested Drawing on lessons learned from the 2015–16 dengue outbreak, which was focused on Hawaiʻi Island and sickened 264 people, DOH collaborated with local, state, and federal partners to develop the Joint Hawaiʻi Mosquito-borne Disease Outbreak Emergency Operations Plan so that the state may be better prepared to respond to an outbreak, especially with the threat of Zika growing in regions worldwide. The plan provides essential and evidence-based guidance to state and county emergency management agencies prior to, during, and immediately after a mosquito-borne disease outbreak. Hawaiʻi’s plan is closely aligned with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plan guidance and further tailored for Hawaiʻi’s unique situation. DOH has hosted a series of tabletop exercises to collect feedback from partners and stakeholders. This year, exercises have been completed in Kauaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Counties, and another will take place in Honolulu later this week. DOH’s Disease Outbreak Control Division has added three staff members to enhance the efficiency of disease surveillance and investigation. Additional staff have improved collaboration between investigators and epidemiologists with partners, such as the State Laboratories Division and the Environmental Health Services Division, which houses the Vector Control Branch. Enhanced integration and coordination among these areas will ensure streamlined processes during emergency outbreak situations. State Laboratory Capacity Increasing The DOH State Laboratories Division in Pearl City is one of a handful public health laboratories in the nation with the capacity to test for dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses. This capacity allows our state to quickly turn around testing results for mosquito-borne diseases in the Pacific. In response to the most recent outbreak, SLD developed and refined its IgM testing (analysis of early antibodies in blood samples) capacity to address rising concerns about Zika infection. SLD is in the process of establishing plaque reduction neutralization testing, a more complex antibody testing process, for dengue and Zika. This will allow the state to better define cross reactive samples, which currently must be sent to CDC, and thus reduce the time to resolve final results. Birth Defects Surveillance Ongoing DOH’s Hawaii Birth Defects Program and DOCD have been working together to monitor mothers potentially affected by Zika since January 2016. Since Zika can be passed from a pregnant mother to her baby before or during birth, it is critical to collect data regarding them and their babies through their clinicians. Data are then contributed to the national Zika birth registry with the hope of better understanding congenital Zika infection, including its scope, risk, and incidence. Education and Outreach Campaign Public education efforts have been driven by the Fight the Bite program, a statewide campaign that urges Hawaiʻi to collectively prevent, prepare and protect against mosquito-borne diseases. A wide range of educational materials are available to arm the public with knowledge about these diseases and how they can take proactive measures in their communities. In addition to being made available online at www.fightthebitehawaii.com, DOH is working with health centers and clinics statewide to ensure providers are properly trained on how to use and distribute materials to their patients/clients. Earlier this year, DOH conducted for Hawaii’s clinicians the first ever statewide public health grand rounds webinar, which focused on the clinical management of Zika infection. For more information about mosquito-borne diseases, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease-types/mosquito-transmitted/. To access Fight the Bite educational materials, including print, video, and audio-based resources, visit www.fightthebitehawaii.com. (maui now) http://mauinow.com/2017/06/28/mosquito-response-in-hawaii-ramps-up-ahead-of-awareness-week/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

The Hottest Hawaiian Islands Not surprisingly, the two hottest islands for Classic Vacations in 2016 and so far in 2017 have been Oahu and Maui, says Hu. Specifically, Maui is hot because it makes a great fit for just about any kind of vacation from multigenerational travel to girls’ getaways to couples retreats. “Maui is an ideal place for nearly everyone – couples, families/multi-generation, girlfriend getaways or even those adventurers,” says Hu. “Consumers can get two different experiences when staying at the Kaanapali or Wailea resort areas.” Meanwhile, Oahu’s main draw is it robust culinary scene, especially in the destination’s Chinatown district. Some of Oahu’s more popular dining spots include The Pig and The Lady and Lucky Belly, which serves up Vietnamese fusions cuisine. But while Maui often attracts seasoned Hawaii travelers, Oahu is for the client who is just getting his or her feet wet in Hawaii travel. “Oahu is for first timers—we have a few new properties on Oahu such as the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina and also Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa on the west side of the island for those that want an escape from Waikiki, while still within driving distance to everything,” says Hu. “We also have a new property, The Laylow, Autograph Collection for those Millennials looking for some Hawaiian vintage charm with blends of midcentury modernism.” Hot Hotels As Hu mentioned, one of the hottest new hotels in Hawaii is The Laylow, a member of the Autograph Collection Hotels, which recently opened its doors following an extensive $60 million renovation. Located on the island of Oahu, The Laylow joins a portfolio of more than 100 independent hotels around the world. Set on the revitalized Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki, the hotel has 251 rooms. So, what are some other hot Hawaiian hotels that Hu recommends advisors keep an eye on? Hu says Hotel Wailea Relais & Chateaux, which has 72 suites with chic beach-house decor, is hot amongst honeymooners, while the all-suite Fairmont Kea Lani Maui remains hot with couples in general. Hu also mentioned the newly renovated Wailea Beach Resort Marriott Maui, which has a beautiful infinity pool with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean where families can enjoy brand new waterslides. “Other hot properties to mention are Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows; Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection; Four Seasons Resort Lanai, and Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina,” says Hu. Zika Has Had “Minimal Impact” on Destination Hu told us Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that has been responsible for some sinking tourism numbers in the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, has not hurt Hawaii as much as other destinations. “Zika has had minimal impact to Hawaii,” says Hu. “If anything, it might have shifted some demand away from Caribbean/Mexico destinations to a known quantity, such as Hawaii.” The Issue of Airbnb Whereas most destinations have now embraced the Airbnb phenomenon, Hawaiian tour operators are still struggling with how to handle this new presence in the industry. “Airbnb is becoming more of an issue for the property management companies,” says Hu. “Today’s owners have choices which causes barriers to all of us since those purchasing an Airbnb vacation may not have the same full service experience as going through a tour operator who sells through the management companies.” To compete, however, Hu told Travel Agent that Classic is exploring ideas to offer additional inventory. “Having said this, this trend is not abating and as operators, we need to find a way to play in this burgeoning market. Consumers are being trained to look at not only hotel inventory, but also private home inventory," he says. "To compete in this space, we are exploring various ideas of offering additional inventory from our sister company HomeAway.” Lanai Buzz The luxury hotel developments by billionaire Larry Ellison are already drawing major interest to Lanai from affluent travelers. The island, which is owned by Ellison, closed all of its resorts in 2015, except the 11-room Hotel Lanai. Today, the island is home to two Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts properties. “[Four Seasons is] very visible within the social media world and the team has done an amazing job with the product,” says Hu. “We offer the product and encourage people to consider the hotel if they are interested in having a different and new experience.” Following a multimillion-dollar transformation, the former Four Seasons at Manele Bay re-opened last year as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai and has been drawing major attention. It offers guests an escape on their own 90,000-acre secluded Hawaiian island nine miles across the Pacific from Maui. The Four Seasons Resort Lanai got even swankier in October with its new Specialty Suites, a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom accommodations that include exclusive services and amenities. Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, which was housing the construction workers for the island’s renovation projects, is expected to open later this year. Biggest Challenges in Selling Hawaii Due to flight availability, distance and cost, Hawaii can be a challenging pitch to East Coast clients, but Hu says he at least sees some relief coming on the airlift side. “Flights are sometimes an issue relative to other destinations, however Classic offers our air credit program that helps alleviate the overall package cost to the consumer,” says Hu. “Having said that, we believe relief is on the horizon as we see more lift coming into the islands, hopefully alleviating some of the supply/demand imbalance. With regards to hotel rates, we’ve seen rate increases moderate, but overall still expensive relative to other destinations (domestically and internationally).” Hawaii Looks to Grow LGBT market The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) recently commissioned studies of LGBT travelers from six markets, the U.S., Canada, China, Australia, Japan and Taiwan. The study was conducted so Hawaii tourism partners can learn more about the preferences and profiles of LGBT travelers and how they could customize their own marketing and services accordingly. “Anecdotally, we hear it is growing—but as you can imagine, this is not a statistic that we track,” says Hu. “We do have new programs that highlight LGBT programs. “For a long time now Hawaii has been recognized as an LGBT-friendly destination, especially by Baby Boomers,” says Hu. “Growth with other segments would be fantastic but loyalty is also key when you consider there are many other competing sand-and-surf destinations.” (joe Pike) http://www.travelagentcentral.com/people/classic-vacations-president-shares-hottest-trends-hawaii Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

THE CHALLENGE: The Zika Virus Meet the new Ebola. The Zika virus has disrupted tourism in such warm-weather destinations as Latin America and the Caribbean since it first broke onto the scene earlier this year. As people were first learning about this rare mosquito-borne disease that can cause birth defects if pregnant women or those looking to become pregnant are infected, clients avoided just about any place abroad that has mosquitoes, from Hawaii to the Caribbean to Mexico and just about all of Latin America. Carole-Anne Hughs Wood: “One difficult task of 2016 was correctly educating our team and our travelers about any true risk” posed by Zika. But as people began to educate themselves more on the disease, such places as Mexico and Hawaii became less of a concern, while only a handful of Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico in particular, are still seeing tourism numbers dip due to the Zika scare. “We are happy to see interest return to some of the amazing destinations and resorts in the Caribbean and even Mexico that were hit so hard in 2016 because of Zika concerns,” says Carole-Anne Hughs Wood, partner relations manager for Ultimate Jet Vacations. “One difficult task of 2016 was correctly educating our team and our travelers about any true risk, its level of severity, or lack thereof.” So what does this mean for 2017? Are clients now informed enough on Zika to know where to avoid? What do you tell a client who is thinking about vacationing in a Zika-infected area? Do you re-route them or simply tell them how to prevent contracting the disease? THE SOLUTION: Education Continues to Be Key Many advisors we spoke with say clients inquiring about Zika are still drastically misinformed. “Zika was a big topic in 2016,” says Zakharenko. “I educated myself and found countries that did not have any cases were a good way to deal with the clients’ concerns. Many heard about Zika, but did not know what it was, and others still wanted to travel and wanted to know where they could go.” Eric Grayson: “We’re vocal about any issues we have with an [app] update ... these app companies rise and fall on their user experience, so they tend to be receptive.” Just about every destination, even many in the U.S., has had cases of Zika. It is essential to explain the difference to clients between destinations that have cases and places that are home to the actual Zika-carrying mosquito. For example, Hawaii has had several cases, but they were all contracted from other destinations. This does not mean that Hawaii has Zika. This means a person who was bitten by a mosquito in another country brought it back to the Aloha State. But the infected person can only pass on the disease through sexual intercourse. The amount of people infected with Zika while visiting Hawaii remains zero. “There have been very few cases in the areas where most of our travelers have been and are booking in the Caribbean and Mexico,” says Hughs Wood. “For travelers with any continuing Zika concerns, we have had more interest in tropical destinations such as Hawaii and the Maldives. For those who have always had the Maldives on their bucket list, it seems some are using 2017 as a great opportunity to make the longer journey from the U.S. to the Indian Ocean.” And DavidTravel’s Rubin is also pitching Hawaii to clients scarred off by the virus. “In response to Zika concerns, I recommend that agents have a list of destinations where Zika is not a concern, such as Hawaii and Australia, etc.,” he says. Myste Wright: “As the accessibility to relevant content grows, I would definitely be interested in adding [virtual reality] as a sales and marketing tool.” Florida may also be considered as an alternative to international destinations. Initial findings from Travel Leaders Group’s 2017 Travel Trends Survey indicates that the Zika virus is having little effect on overall bookings to Florida, with Orlando maintaining its number-one ranking domestically and Miami continuing to hold a place in the Top 10. Nearly 81 percent of agents reported that their bookings to Florida are on a par with or higher than one year ago. For the record, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection declared, back on December 9, that Florida is Zika-free. (Joe Pike) http://www.travelagentcentral.com/running-your-business/2017-survival-guide Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. Mosquitoes have already caused a dengue fever outbreak in Hawaii. Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases may be close behind. Here’s what scientists are doing and what you should do. For most of Kepa Police’s life, mosquitoes were minor annoyances, simply to be swatted away. Then, just before Christmas, the 21-year old contracted dengue fever. “All I could do was lie down and space out for 10 days straight,” says the Hawaii Island resident. Five days of a high fever, intense chills, pain in his bones, a raging headache and nausea were followed by a full body rash as painful as a bad sunburn. “I can’t imagine being any sicker than I was then,” he says. Mosquito-borne diseases kill 1 million people a year globally, debilitating hundreds of millions more. Dengue fever, the fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease in the world, affects 400 million people every year and kills 25,000. The Zika virus is, according to the World Health Organization, “spreading explosively” across Latin America and has gained a foothold in American Samoa. “WE SHOULDN’T LOOK AT THIS AS JUST A BIG ISLAND PROBLEM. WE SHOULD LOOK AT THIS AS A STATEWIDE PROBLEM. THIS SHOULD BE AN ALL-HANDS-ON-DECK MOMENT FOR HAWAII.” -JOSH GREEN PHYSICIAN AND STATE SENATOR Since September 2015, there have been 263 confirmed cases of dengue on Hawaii Island and five cases of Zika brought to the state by people who contracted it elsewhere. Although these numbers do not indicate that either will become endemic, Hawaii’s tropical climate and popularity as a travel destination make it easy for mosquito-borne diseases to spread. What can we do to combat the most dangerous animal known to humans? Scientists, health officials and community members weigh in on what we need to know and do. AEDES AEGYPTI THRIVES WHERE HUMANS LIVE We don’t need to look far for the mosquito that transmits dengue and Zika. It has moved in with us. “Aedes aegypti is a domestic mosquito, one that we find in human dwellings. That’s what makes it a better vector than the other dengue transmitter, Aedes albopictus. It lives indoors right where the people are, and never moves from that habitat,” explains Dennis A. LaPointe, a research ecologist focused on mosquito biology at the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center. Within the state, Aedes aegypti is currently found only on Hawaii Island. Globally, however, it has spread across the southern U.S. as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean. Unlike other female mosquitoes that feed on a combination of animal blood and flowers, Aedes aegypti females have evolved to feed exclusively on human blood. They use some to maintain themselves and some to reproduce, biting more often than other mosquitoes, thus making disease transmission more likely. “They’ve adapted in such a way that they never have to look far for their host,” LaPointe adds. Unlike other mosquitoes, which require dirty, organically rich water for their eggs to survive, Aedes aegypti thrive in small amounts of clean water, such as rain in discarded tires, soda cans, curled leaves, pet bowls or even bottle caps. “These mosquitoes can breed in as little as a teaspoon of water. If you have a little tray or planter or area that’s shaded, and a little bit of water that can persist, that’s a potential breeding site, says Sarah Park, state epidemiologist and chief of the Disease Outbreak Control Division at the Hawaii Department of Health. TADITIONAL METHOS HAVE LIMITS Although insecticides have been used for decades, mosquitoes infect more people every year. Insects become resistant to some pesticides and people also resist them because of health concerns. Aerial spraying can be useful in emergencies, but only affects adult insects. “Four days later you have the same number of mosquitoes with a new larvae hatch. Unless you’re dropping malathion (a common pesticide) every few days, you’re not doing much good,” says David M. Morens, senior advisor to the director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Furthermore, because Aedes aegypti live inside with us, reaching them can be a challenge. “To control the mosquito, a public health authority has to have access to everyone’s home,” says Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry. “In a modern society, that’s not only impractical, but also unacceptable.” Larvicides, such as tablets applied to water, stop the next generation. But it can be difficult to find all the tiny places where they breed. “People are oftentimes well intentioned but may not realize some things hold water,” says Kacey C. Ernst, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Arizona. “Even if you could completely clear a yard, there may be something that you can’t see visually, and that can become a breeding site.” INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVES MAKE A DIFFERENCE Easter Aquino-Schorle used to let mosquitoes around her Hawaiian Paradise Park home limit her daily life. “I would avoid going out in the morning and evening. I’m one of those people – even if I were in a crowd of thousands, one mosquito would find me.” That was before she learned how to make mosquito traps. Since she started making them in January, she estimates she has killed about 600 eggs weekly. “I used to get bitten several times a day and, now, it’s down to just one or two times a week. Now I can go outside whenever I want.” Springstar, a Seattle company, offers ready-made traps, which mimic the mosquitoes’ breeding sites (springstar.net). Puna resident and retired scientist Van Eden runs workshops to teach people how to make their own. “The trap has a landing pad where the mosquito will end up to lay her eggs. You put poison on it, and when she lands on it, she gets a lethal dose. Then, to make sure none of the eggs produce mosquitoes, you put larvicide in the water. “None of this is hard to do,” says Eden. Officials and community members are also urging residents to clean the areas around their homes, paying special attention to old appliances, discarded tires, unused cars and other things that can become breeding sites. “We’ve been working with property owners with issues like standing water. These might be due to natural geographical features or manmade things like catchment systems. Going forward, we want to remove all opportunities for vectors to thrive,” says Hawaii County Civil Defense director Darryl Oliveira. TURNING MOSQUITO BIOLOGY AGAINST ITSELF Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry believes Aedes aegypti, what he calls “public enemy No. 1,” can be permanently eradicated. His company, based in the United Kingdom, has developed genetically modified male Aedes aegypti with a “self-limiting gene.” When these males are released and mate with wild females, their eggs hatch but the larvae die within a few days, before they become disease-transmitting and breeding adults. And the larvae compete with viable larvae for food during their brief lives. “Our inspiration is using mosquito biology against itself,” says Parry. Trials have been conducted in Cayman, Panama and Brazil, and, in one case, researchers observed a 99 percent decrease in the Aedes aegypti population. Parry says that, although some may have reservations about the idea of genetic modification, their mosquitoes pose no harm to the environment or other organisms. “The self-limiting gene is not toxic or allergenic. It just effectively stops the insect’s growth. If a bat comes along and eats one of our insects, they get a bit of fat and protein just like a normal mosquito. “THESE MOSQUITOES CAN BREED IN AS LITTLE AS A TEASPOON OF WATER.” -SARAH PARK STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, TALKING ABOUT THE SPECIES AEDES AEGYPTI “Furthermore,” Parry continues, “since the larvae die, it’s a genetic dead end. There is no persistence in the environment. From a safety of environment point of view, this is leaps ahead of insecticides.” Another technique is to sterilize the males by exposing them to gamma irradiation. In fact, the International Atomic Energy Agency has been developing sterile fruit flies, tse tse flies, screw worms and moths for several decades, according to Peter A. Follett, research entymologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center. BACTERIA OFFER NATURAL SOLUTIONS Instead of focusing on sterility, Eliminate Dengue, a nonprofit based in Australia, uses a natural bacteria called Wolbachia (which is present in up to 60 percent of all insects) to block viruses within the mosquitoes themselves. “Research to date suggests that Wolbachia can boost the natural immune system of the mosquito, which makes it harder for the mosquito to support infections like dengue and Zika. If the mosquito can’t get infected, then it can’t transmit it to humans,” explains program lead Scott O’Neill. Because Wolbachia does not naturally occur in Aedes aegypti, the bacteria come from fruit flies and are injected into the mosquito eggs. Female Aedes aegypti with Wolbachia are then released into the wild. Once they mate, they pass the bacteria to their eggs. The goal is to sustain high levels of Wolbachia in wild mosquito populations, as the bacteria are inherited from generation to generation. Thus, unlike other approaches, the goal is not to eliminate mosquitoes, but to eliminate their ability to transmit disease. “Yes, the mosquitoes will still bite and make you itchy, but they won’t make you sick,” says Shane Fairlie, communications and engagement manager. Scott says they are very encouraged by their results, and are planning their first large-scale citywide trial in Indonesia this year. “Long-term monitoring in our international project sites has shown Wolbachia is sustaining itself at high levels in the majority of these sites up to five years after application. In areas where mosquito populations have high levels of Wolbachia, we haven’t seen any significant local transmission of dengue.” HAWAII AT THE FOREFRONT Organizations in Hawaii are also playing leading roles in the global effort to fight mosquito-borne diseases. Hawaii Biotech, established in 1982, specializes in vaccines for tropical diseases, as well as drugs to block bacteria, such as anthrax, that can be used for bioterrorism. Instead of using live viruses to make vaccines, they work with molecular biology to create proteins that mimic the viral proteins. “This is a very high-tech form of biotechnology. We’ve chosen this approach because the proteins themselves are very safe, and it’s very easy for us to do the work without a lot of precautions, since we’re not using anything infectious,” says president and CEO Elliot Parks. Hawaii Biotech has developed a variety of vaccine candidates, including ones for West Nile, tick-borne flaviviruses, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and chikungunya. A few years ago, Hawaii Biotech sold its early stage dengue vaccine candidate to Merck, the largest vaccine company in the world, where it continues to be developed. They are now working on a dengue vaccine to protect military personnel in tropical or subtropical regions, where immediate and complete immunity is critical. Over the last few months, Hawaii Biotech has also turned its attention to developing a vaccine for the most talked-about virus today. “Zika is in the same family of viruses as dengue and West Nile. The fact that we’ve taken two of the three of these into clinical trials gives us a leg up,” says Parks. Hawaii is also home to one of only a small number of state labs in the U.S. where blood specimens can be tested for mosquito-borne diseases. “As late as 2011, we didn’t have the diagnostic capacity in the state for dengue. We had to send everything to the CDC Puerto Rico lab, which added much more complexity and time,” says state epidemiologist Sarah Park. “We can now test for all three of these threats – dengue, Zika and chikungunya. We’re only one of nine public health labs outside of the CDC that have this kind of capacity in the U.S.,” says Park. The state lab not only handles cases within Hawaii, but throughout the Pacific. “There are not a lot of lab-testing capabilities in these small island nations and U.S. territories. We’ve become kind of a big brother to these jurisdictions,” says A. Christian Whelen, administrator for the Hawaii Department of Health’s State Laboratories Division. The lab is thus often the first to detect viruses in the region: for instance, in 2014, it discovered chikungunya in American Samoa. More recently, it confirmed Zika is circulating there. Many people travel between the Pacific islands and Hawaii, so Whelen and his team pay close attention to these cases. “Knowing what’s happening in those communities helps us prepare for what may impact Hawaii,” he says. INFORMATION MUST SPREAD SWIFTLY AND WIDELY Karen Anderson, a resident of Captain Cook on Hawaii Island, founded the Hawaii Dengue Fever Awareness Facebook page for people to discuss the outbreak. With over 1,500 members, the group shares information on vector control, new cases, trapping techniques and public areas that require cleanup. Evident in the posts, however, are people’s frustration over the state’s response. “People outreach has been really poor in terms of information dissemination. Back in December, the CDC came out and issued its assessment that the state’s public communication capacity was woefully inadequate,” says Anderson. “We need more press conferences, panels, discussions and Q&A’s online. People need to know how serious it is. So many people here know there’s a dengue outbreak, but don’t know anything about the virus.” Cutbacks in 2009 reduced the state’s vector-control program to a third of what it was. “Ideally we’d have more capacity on the vector side,” admits state epidemiologist Sarah Park. “A good vector-control program would include a lot of field assessments, public health education with stakeholders on mosquito prevention and surveys to understand where mosquitoes tend to breed and where they are likely to be.” Many of those interviewed for this article praised the Department of Health’s successful response to the 2001 dengue outbreak on Maui as a worthy model. Bruce S. Anderson, now administrator for the Division of Aquatic Resources, ran the Department of Health then. He describes a more urgent response led by the DOH, backed by more than 80 vector-control staff. There was an aggressive media campaign, including TV spots, and press conferences were held daily. Tens of thousands of brochures were sent to homeowners and passed out at the airport. Officials went door to door. “We sent our staff from the Health Department out on weekends, and there were literally thousands of people talking to residents about the importance of eliminating potential mosquito-breeding areas,” Anderson says. There were 122 confirmed cases, less than half of the latest outbreak. THINK AND ACT LOCAL Bill Cullum, who works on a farm in Captain Cook, came down with dengue symptoms just before Thanksgiving. Once he was tested, it took over two weeks to get his results. “The procedure was unclear, and there was so much back and forth between the physicians and the DOH. Each place told me I had to call the other one to get my results.” Since testing for dengue can only be done at the state lab on Oahu, the fastest turnaround for Neighbor Island residents is around five days. However, as Cullum’s experience demonstrates, administrative hiccups, weekend closures and the logistics of sending specimens to Oahu can all create delays. By the time results arrive, people may no longer be infectious. “We had pushed to get testing to be moved to the Big Island. All it requires is a small room, but the DOH didn’t want to move it. That’s how you get a handle on the epidemic. If we start having cases of Zika, we are going to need to be much more proactive in isolating those cases so people aren’t moving around and spreading it,” says state Rep. Richard Creagan, a physician and former bioterrorism preparedness epidemiologist for the state Department of Health. Creagan points to another local concern that may not be well understood outside of Hawaii Island – the dependence on catchment. “What people in Oahu don’t appreciate is how dependent we are on rainwater. Twenty-thousand homes are on catchment. Catchment tanks are potential breeding areas for mosquitoes, and most people don’t maintain their tanks the way they ideally should. That’s not something the Health Department has wrapped its head around yet.” Another issue is the reluctance to seek help, say, when you do not have health insurance or gas money to get to a clinic. “You can go to the ER, but people are afraid they will get slapped with a big bill, won’t get tested and will just sit there and suffer,” says Hawaiian Paradise Park resident Kealoha Tam, who says she knows several people who exhibited dengue-like symptoms, but did not seek medical help. That’s why state senator and physician Josh Green believes the confirmed number of dengue cases underreports the problem. “We knew large numbers had dengue who didn’t get tested. Thank goodness none were life threatening, but, at the same time, it means we have an incomplete assessment of where dengue and mosquitoes are clustered.” Both Green and Creagan have proposed mobile medical units, in-home visits and other services so people do not have to travel when they are sick. Tourism numbers rose early this year, indicating the dengue outbreak has not affected the economy, but the reality for small businesses in dengue hot spots is less rosy. “Local businesses are saying they have lost two seasons of tourists. Some South Kona areas, where beaches were closed, have been having a rough season,” says Green. What Hawaii Island officials emphasize is the importance of understanding local realities, rather than using an Oahu-centric lens. “Because people in charge don’t live on the Big Island, they don’t have a feeling for what goes on here,” says Creagan. “They don’t understand how it started, and how it’s spreading. They would if they were based here. WE MUST REMAIN VIGILANT As of March, the numbers of new dengue cases has slowed considerably, and there’s no evidence that Zika is being transmitted within the state. Nonetheless, the scientists, health officials and community members interviewed for this piece all stress we should not become complacent David M. Morens, senior advisor to the director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, worked for 17 years in the epidemiology department at UH Manoa, heading a research lab with a focus on dengue and Zika. “One of the lessons learned is that, in a tropical area like Hawaii, the setup for having an epidemic is always going to be there until all the mosquitoes are eradicated. People like me think of it as a recurrent accident waiting to happen.” For the long term, global climate change may mean more mosquitoes in more places. “There are studies that show malaria is present in n Africa at higher elevations than it used to be. Mosquitoes are also surviving at higher elevations in Central America as well,” says Korine Kolivras, associate professor in the geography department at Virginia Tech. “Shifting patterns of rainfall could be important. And everything reproduces more quickly at warmer temperatures,” she adds. Since the Aedes aegypti eggs can withstand drought for a year or more, fewer mosquitoes during a dry season does not mean they are gone for good. “If we don’t do anything and we have the kind of rainy season we had last year in Kona, then we can forget about it. It’s a lost cause,” says Karen Anderson, founder of the Hawaii Dengue Fever Awareness Facebook page. Hawaii’s popularity with tourists increases the likelihood of disease transmission. “This is a travel hub. And we have these environmental and recreational facilities that are prime places for harboring and sustaining mosquitoes. We need to raise the level of awareness of how vulnerable we really are,” says Hawaii County Civil Defense director Darryl Oliveira. Although the recent dengue outbreak has been confined to Hawaii Island, state senator Josh Green urges everyone who thinks this is not their problem, to think again. “If we get unlucky, and there’s an outbreak in a main tourist area like Waikiki, we could see a 20 percent decline in tourism dollars. That would be devastating to our tax base, which provides for public safety, education and hospitals,” says Green. “We shouldn’t look at this as just a Big Island problem. We should look at this as a statewide problem. This should be an all-hands-on-deck moment for Hawaii.” SHORT ANSWERS TO BIG QUESTIONS What are dengue’s symptoms? A high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding such as in the nose or gums. Younger children and those with their first dengue infection may have milder symptoms. What are Zika’s symptoms? Symptoms can be similar to dengue. The most common include fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), muscle pain and headache. Most people, however, may not exhibit any symptoms. In April, scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they had conclusively linked the Zika virus with severe fetal brain defects, including microcephaly, a birth defect in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected, often due to abnormal brain development during pregnancy. In Brazil, health authorities have also observed that Zika infections coincide with an increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome, a sickness of the nervous system than can lead to paralysis. How are dengue and Zika spread? Both are transmitted to people by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Dengue cannot be spread directly from person to person. Zika, however, can be spread from an infected mother to her fetus or to her newborn around the time of birth. Zika can also be sexually transmitted through semen from infected males to females. There are still many unknowns, however, including whether a woman can pass the virus to a man through sex. How are dengue and Zika treated? There is no specialized medication for either. People who exhibit symptoms should rest, drink plenty of fluids, and use pain relievers with acetaminophen while avoiding those containing aspirin, which could worsen bleeding. Most important, consult a physician. Is there a vaccine? No vaccine is available in the U.S. to prevent either, although there is a dengue vaccine registered for use in dengue endemic areas of Mexico, the Philippines and Brazil. How long is someone infectious? During the incubation period, large amounts of the virus are present in a person’s blood. That’s when an uninfected mosquito can pick up viruses that can be transferred to other humans. The incubation period for dengue is typically four to seven days after the infectious mosquito bite. The incubation period for Zika is about three to 12 days after the bite. If I’ve gotten it once, does that mean I’m immune forever? There are four strains of dengue fever. If you have gotten dengue fever once, you have immunity only for that strain. Evidence suggests an increased risk of developing severe dengue if you are exposed to a different strain. It is suspected that, once you get Zika, you have lifelong immunity. However, more research needs to be done. On Feb. 12, Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. What does this mean? That is a preventive measure to guard against dengue, Zika and other diseases. It gives the government access to the state’s Major Disaster Fund and the option of waiving certain laws and regulations to expedite a response if needed. It also paves the way for federal assistance if the state exhausts its designated resources. The state of emergency does not mean there are any travel restrictions to Hawaii. What areas have been affected by the dengue outbreak? At this issue’s press deadline, the state Department of Health said the current risk areas for dengue were all on Hawaii Island: • Moderate risk: Milolii • Some risk: Kailua-Kona, Captain Cook, Volcano This shortcut takes you to a regularly updated map of risk areas: tinyurl.com/denguemap. What should I do if I’m in those areas? • When outdoors, use mosquito repellents, and wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants tucked into socks. • When indoors, use air conditioning if available. • Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes. • If you have symptoms of dengue or Zika, seek a medical professional immediately. (Lianne YU) http://www.hawaiibusiness.com/hawaii-business-environmental-report-mosquitoes/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. It's going to stop raining ... someday. And when that day comes, hopefully it falls on one of these free National Park weekends. Entrance fees to all 124 National Parks that normally charge for tickets will be waived on April 15-16 and 22-23 in honor of National Park Week. The California parks participating in the free day are: Cabrillo National Monument Death Valley National Park Joshua Tree National Park Lassen Volcanic National Park Lava Beds National Monument Muir Woods National Monument Pinnacles National Park San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Yosemite National Park LAHAINA, Maui — This tropical town may be better known for its touristy souvenir shops and cafes, but a stroll along Lahaina’s waterfront yields a glimpse into Hawaii’s past, from its whaling days to King Kamehameha’s extracurricular activities. Some walking tour maps suggest that you include 28+ historic stops on your stroll — and start early in the day, so you don’t swoon from the heat as you contemplate Herman Melville’s cousin’s grave and a tennis court that was once the site of a sacred pond. We may be die-hard history buffs, but 28 seems like a lot. Besides, there’s a beach waiting — and the promise of margaritas. So we’ve narrowed the field to an eye-popping eight and traced a path that leads from Lahaina’s spectacular banyan tree to dinner and cocktails. Consider it a Lahaina history appetizer. And if you’re still hungry for more, check out the extensive trail map designed by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation (lahainarestoration.org), which has spent decades restoring and mapping 65 historically important sites in Kamehameha’s royal capital. (jackie Burnell) http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/24/hawaii-getaway-a-blast-to-lahainas-historic-past/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray

W.S. Merwin puts a blueberry on the railing of his lanai for a cardinal that visits him every morning at his home in Peahi. Cardinals, doves, thrushes and other birds sing and flit through the forest filled with thousands of palms and other trees that engulf the renowned poet’s quiet and peaceful home. Mosquitoes arising from water in bromeliads and palms and pockets in the dry bed of the Peahi Stream buzz bomb and bite. Walking down the steep trail, partly formed on old pineapple furrows, 2,740 palms of all kinds fill the landscape, as many as 50 species visible at a glance. There are palms that shoot to the sky through the forest canopy. One has a fur coat to protect it from the Himalayan cold. Another has sharp thorns that may have helped fend off dinosaurs. The cardinal likely makes his daily visits because of the labors of the poet, not to hear his poems, but to fly through the magnificent forest Merwin meticulously nurtured from the Peahi scrubland he bought 40 years ago. The ecosystem was built palm by palm, using only hand tools. His wife, Paula, later joined him, planting the ground cover that helps the palms flourish and dresses up the brown Haiku clay. It is said the walking irises were in full bloom the day before she died in March. (Lee Imada) Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray . http://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2017/09/merwins-garden/

THE EXPERIENCE This is a wet, slightly slippery, very fun trail for the whole family―provided everyone has footwear with good traction. You’ll be stepping over and under branches, through mud and on some mossy rocks, so expect to get a bit dirty before reaching the falls―especially if there’s been some Windward rain. Being a much less traveled hike than, say, Makapuʻu, Likeke makes for a relaxing journey―but we don’t recommend going solo. There’s always a chance of getting lost, especially if it’s your first time. It makes for a great stroll with family and friends, furry ones included. The keiki seemed to like the adventure aspect; even the really little ones―which we kept strapped to Mom or Dad. THE PAYOFF The flowing waterfall at the end is beautiful and peaceful―not to mention a great place to dip your toes and splash around. And, of course, photo ops abound. (Lennie Omalza) http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/March-2017/Oahu-Hike-of-the-Month-Likeke-Falls/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

As the wheels of my car pound the wooden planks of the one-way bridge into Hanalei Valley, all signs of modernity seem to fall away. No crowds, no traffic lights, no foreign noise. Just a carpet of shock-green kalo (taro) and the Hanalei River, wide and placid, gently gliding toward the sea. Traveling down the dirt road that divides the taro fields from the river, I forget about all the emails awaiting response in my inbox. Ahead, the raw Hawaiian jungle beckons me. My destination on this humid day is the Okolehao Trail. The 2.3-mile hiking path ascends 1,232 feet up Hihimanu Ridge to the majestic twin peaks that punctuates this quaint north shore surf town’s skyline. Perched atop Hanalei’s mountainous crown, the world is bound to look a bit greener. My agenda: Go there and, along the way, clear my mind. Driving into the valley, I’m the only soul in sight, save for a family of nene, the endangered Hawaiian goose, waddling across the road. I brake for the honking bird quartet and take a moment to appreciate the encounter with some of the world’s rarest geese. When the path is clear, the largest nene lengthens its neck and sounds a final honk. I take it as a signal to continue rolling toward the mountains, spread wide and jagged across the plain like a jaw of sharpened teeth. Okolehao is a moderate trail—easier in dry conditions and more difficult when goopy with mud, which is most often the case in this verdant valley. Rainfall is 99 percent more plentiful in Hanalei than anywhere else in the United States. After periods of heavy showers, a walking stick is a must. (Brittany Lyte) http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/content/hike-above-hanalei-summit-kauais-okolehao-trail Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

We’ve reached the point that most people don’t look forward to—the Road to Hana’s famous twists and stomach-churning turns. From the passenger seat, I watch the driver grip the steering wheel with both hands as he turns it all the way left, all the way right, then left again with so much precision and effort that it reminds me of those parking lot road tests, albeit an extreme version. But, there are no orange traffic cones directing our way, and the hairpin turns along Hana Highway’s coastline are not ending anytime soon. It’s morning, and we have at least two more hours of driving to go. Our final destination is not Hana, but the okana (district) of Kipahulu, 12 miles past Hana in a section of Maui that many forget is part of Haleakala National Park. Overshadowed by the volcano’s 10,023-foot summit and enormous Mars-like crater, Kipahulu, which was added to the park in 1969, rests on the outside of the mauna (mountain) near the ocean. Its Hawaiian name literally means “fetch from exhausted gardens”—a reference to its fertile land of abundant streams and waterfalls that Native Hawaiians used to create sophisticated agricultural systems, remnants of which can still be seen. (Christine Hitt) http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/content/hiking-pipiwai-trail-waimoku-falls-haleakala-national-park THE EXPERIENCE Makiki Valley Loop Trail encompasses three trails (Kanealole Trail, Makiki Valley Trail and Maunalaha Trail), which might make it seem long and confusing, but not to worry. A mere 2.5 miles, it makes for a nice workout in a fairly easy-to-navigate setting. (Read and follow the signs!) The journey begins just past Hawaiʻi Nature Center, on Makiki Heights Drive. Hikers can park in the lot on the left near the green gate and walk a bit farther up to find the start of the trail on the right-hand side. Past the restrooms and water faucet, there’s a bridge over the stream, which leads to the Kanealole and Maunalaha trail signs. We followed the arrows up the steps until reaching the Makiki Valley Loop Trail welcome sign and map. Hiking counterclockwise on Maunalaha Trail gets the steeper part out of the way first. Making the trek isn’t terribly difficult, but there are a lot of tree roots and rocks. It might be a bit much for little ones, although on our way, there were other hikers of all ages (and seemingly all fitness levels) on the trail, including four-legged friends. (Lennie Omalza) http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/April-2017/Oahu-Hike-of-the-Month-Makiki-Valley-Loop-Trail/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray. For the past seven months, I’ve had to explain myself to others: I’m hiking the 11-mile Kalalau Trail on the Napali Coast of Kauai. I’ll be off the grid for four days and three nights with absolutely no cell phone service. I’m carrying with me food, some water and a tent. Yes, it’s dangerous. Yes, people have died on this trail. And, yes, I really want to do it. The responses to me were the same. Most women would give me the Wow, you’re really doing that? look, followed by the question, “You’re going with someone, right?” Numerous times, I’d answer, “Yes, I’m going with a group; there are four of us.” Men were the ones who were excited about my adventure, especially my dad. “If it were me, I’d probably drink right out of the waterfall,” he told me over the phone after I explained to him my well-planned water-purification process. (Christine Hitt) http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/content/wild-napali-hikers-journey-kalalau-trail Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

As if amazing hikes and superb views weren’t enough, Instagram users have unveiled what lies in the lush valleys of Hawaii... and it’s an actual water slide. The 35-foot conduit below pumps water from Mother Nature herself and is tucked deep in the forest of Waipio Valley on the Big Island. You won’t be able to find it on a map because it’s on government property and is restricted to the public. But that hasn’t stopped people from illegally trespassing to get to it, risking hefty fines and their safety just to get their splash on. (Lauren Aratini) https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jungle-waterslide-hawaii_us_57a3d15de4b021fd987827ca Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

Best Hiking Trails on Big Island Hiking Adventures on Big Island The Big Island has some of the best hiking trails in all of Hawaii; whether you're a hard-core trekker or just want to stroll and admire the scenery. Here are a few of our favorite Big Island excursions to get you started. We've included a bit of what to expect along the trail as well as what makes each hike to special. https://www.hawaii-guide.com/big_island_of_hawaii/hiking_trails Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

The Big Island is an outdoor paradise for hikers. The low population density, miles and miles of hiking trails, waterfalls and so many different climate zones make hiking one of our favorite pastimes on the island. The outdoors in Hawai`i are ever-changing, and a hike can take you to coastal dunes, shrub lands, rainforests, and even high alpine deserts. You can find hiking trails on the Big Island for all levels of skill and fitness. From the beginner level scenic hikes such as the Onomea trailnorth of Hilo, to the more rigorous Halini Pali 7-mile trail down the side of the Kilauea volcano, to the multi day, 35 mile, Mauna Loa trail. https://www.lovebigisland.com/big-island-hiking/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray.

The island of Hawaii is heaven for hikers. Whether you’re looking for a challenging trail on fields of lava or short, scenic hikes through historic sites, you’ll find it here. Most hiking adventures begin in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which offers more than 150-miles of trails. Stroll through Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube), take a day hike along Chain of Craters Road or walk over volcanic fields to witness the power of creation as lava flows into the sea in Kalapana. For the well-equipped and experienced backpackers, hike overnight in the park's backcountry. See a ranger at the Kilauea Visitor Center to get trail information, maps and permits. Other famous hikes can be found on the Kona Coast on the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, also known as the King’s Trail. This 175-mile trail weaves through hundreds of important cultural sites including sacred heiau (temples), Hawaiian fishponds, petroglyphs and other historic sites. You’ll also find a variety of other amazing hikes including the Pololu Valley Lookout in North Kohala which leads to a black sand beach and guided hikes into lush Waipio Valley, known as the Valley of Kings. (Hawaii tourism board) https://www.gohawaii.com/islands/hawaii-big-island/things-to-do/land-activities/Hiking Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray

Aloha Big Island residents and visitors! I invite you to plan your next exciting hiking adventure on the Big Island. Each one of the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands offer a host of incredible hikes, but the hiking trails on the Island of Hawai’i are some of the best in the world! With trails that range from easy walks to more challenging day long journeys, there is truly something for everyone. No matter your skill and energy level, or the size of your group, there are just so many amazing hiking opportunities on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Explore volcanic terrain, and lush green valleys all the way to protected coastlines and beaches. Feel the essence of Hawai’i fill you with fresh air, and all the mana of Hawai’i’s natural beauty and grace. Lace up your boots, grab your board shorts and bikinis, pick up some water and trail mix and get going!(Alexandra Mitchell) http://bigislandnow.com/2015/01/23/must-do-hikes-to-big-island-beaches/ Bloc the bite, Bloc All natural Mosquitoe Spray