Public Health Preparedness

Wash Your Hands Bollywood Style!
Hawaii - Are YOU Ready?
We're Not Scared, We're Prepared!

The Public Health Preparedness program is funded by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and coordinated by the DOH Public Health Preparedness (PHP) Branch. Along with its broader health emergency preparedness responsibilities, the branch coordinates Hawaii’s smallpox vaccination program, administers the Strategic National Stockpile plan for distribution of emergency pharmaceuticals in case of public health emergencies, and collaborates with State Civil Defense, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, county Civil Defense agencies and other related stakeholders in the development and implementation of state and county response plans for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.


October 2014

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Following a disease investigation, on October 2, 2014 the Hawaii State Department of Health (HDOH) determined that a patient who was being kept in isolation at a Honolulu hospital did not have Ebola infection. As of October 24, 2014, there have been four confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States. A travel related case that was diagnosed in Dallas, Texas on  September 30, 2014, and passed away October 8, 2014, two nurses that provided care to the original patient, confirmed on October 12, 2014 and on October 15, 2014 and a volunteer returning from Guinea diagnosed in New York City on October 23, 2014.

HDOH continues to closely monitor the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the recent cases in Texas and New York City, and is working with state, local, federal, and community partners in Hawaii to make sure all involved are informed and prepared in the event of a possible case of Ebola infection.

For more information, go here: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)


Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)

Recently, hospitals in Missouri and Chicago, IL, have reported higher numbers of children with severe respiratory illness than usual for this time of year and have found EV-D68 in a large number of the children. Other states have also reported cases of EV-D68 in patients, but because it is difficult to define the baseline level of EV-D68 infections in states (EV-D68 is not a reportable illness, and often when an enterovirus infection is found, the specific type is not identified) it is not clear yet if there is an increase in EV-D68 activity in other states as well.

As of this time, HDOH has not identified any issues relating to EV-D68 impacting Hawaii; however, HDOH will continue to closely monitor the situation.

For more information on EV-D68, go here:

Public Health Emergencies – a Timeline

Since it was first established as the Board of Health in 1851, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has provided leadership to monitor, protect and improve the health and environment of the people of Hawaii. That mission includes preparing for and responding to a wide range of health emergencies. This timeline takes a look at some of the significant health-related incidents impacting Hawaii over the years and the DOH’s involvement.