Public Health Preparedness

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Hawaii - Are YOU Ready?
We're Not Scared, We're Prepared!

The DOH Public Health Preparedness branch (PHP) is funded by a Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) – Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Through the grant, PHP works to prepare for, respond to, and assist in recovery from natural and human-caused public health incidents and threats. DOH has many roles and responsibilities in protecting public health and safety in disasters.

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.


January 2016

HDOH confirms past Zika infection in baby born with microcephaly

 The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) has received confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of past Zika virus infection in a baby recently born with microcephaly on Oahu.  The mother likely had Zika infection when she was residing abroad in May 2015.  Neither the baby nor the mother are infectious, and there was never a risk of transmission in Hawaii.

To date, no cases of Zika virus have been locally acquired.  HDOH continues to urge all travelers and Hawaii residents to help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases by eliminating mosquito breeding sites and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

For more information:

HDOH News Release: Hawaii Dept. of Health Receives Confirmation of Zika Infection in Baby Born with Microcephaly

WHO Declares Public Health Emergency of International Concern:

 For more information on Zika virus disease, go to

For Pregnant Women:  

For Zika Travel Information:

For Health Care Providers:

Help Control Mosquitoes that Spread Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika Viruses (pdf):


November 2015

HDOH investigates cluster of dengue fever on the Big Island

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is currently investigating a cluster of locally-acquired cases of dengue fever on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Dengue is not endemic in Hawaii, however it is intermittently imported from endemic areas by infected travelers. This is the first cluster of locally-acquired dengue fever since the 2011 outbreak on Oahu.

For more information on dengue fever, click here.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

HDOH continues to monitor developments related to Ebola Virus Disease, 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.

HDOH Disease Outbreak Control Division recently published a report on HDOH Ebola preparedness activities covering September 1, 2014 to April 1, 2015. The report gives a brief overview of efforts to ensure responder/worker health and safety; increase disease surveillance and monitoring; conduct training and exercises; and provide public Information, education and outreach. Read the report: Ebola Preparedness Report.

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


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.