Battling outbreak, Hawaii faces small staff, pesticide fears - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Battling outbreak, Hawaii faces small staff, pesticide fears

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

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

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

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

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