Health officials spread thin with dengue, Zika, hepatitis A in Hawaii

Local News

As a hepatitis A outbreak continues in the islands, resources to track it are wearing thin.

The latest update from the state Department of Health says that there were 135 cases of hepatitis A in the state, the bulk of them on Oahu.

At a hearing at the State Capitol Monday, lawmakers met with state health officials to talk about the outbreak.

All agree the greatest concern is resources in dealing with what’s amounted to a “triple whammy” of infectious diseases.

“First we had the dengue problem, followed by Zika and now this hepatitis A. The Department of Health is certainly spread thin on its resources,” said Sen. Will Espero, a member of Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health.

Espero says lawmakers will work with the health department to provide provide what ever assistance they can, and ensure the state pursues any grants that may become available.

The Hawaii Medical Assurance Association along with the Hawaii Restaurant Association are teaming up to help Hawaii residents get a hepatitis A vaccine.

More information on that will be released Tuesday.

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