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Special Alerts



Please be advised that a new City and County of Honolulu ordinance that makes it illegal to look at a cellphone or other electronic device (such as video game or tablet) while crossing a street or highway on Oahu has gone into effect as of Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

The penalty for violating the new law is a fine of not less than $15, but not more than $35 for the first offense. The fine rises to a minimum of $75 and a maximum of $99 for a third offense within one year after the first infraction.

Click here for more information about the new law.



Re: Information on Rat Lungworm Disease in Hawai‘i

April 20, 2017

In 2017, Hawai‘i has experienced an unusual spike in rat lungworm infections, a rare disease most commonly found in Asia and the South Pacific.

As the Hawai‘i State Department of Health has emphasized, this disease is easily preventable by properly washing and storing food before eating.

At a news conference on April 19, State Health officials said consumers have nothing to fear when dining out, as restaurants and retail operations follow rules and regulations for food service.

Hawai‘i, which has 1.4 million residents and welcomed more than 8.9 million visitors in 2016, typically reports between one to 11 cases of rat lungworm disease annually.

The Department of Health is currently monitoring 11 confirmed cases of rat lungworm disease reported this year, with several additional suspected cases being investigated. Of the confirmed cases, six are from Maui, involving four residents and two visitors, with five residents from the island of Hawaii.

Rat lungworm disease, or Angiostrongyliasis, is an infection caused by a parasitic worm in rats, slugs and snails that is passed on to people under unusual circumstances.

People get infected by eating raw or undercooked snails or slugs infected with the parasite, or from eating raw produce (such as lettuce) that contains a small snail or slug or part of one.

Most recover fully without treatment. There is no medication or specific treatment for the disease. In the most severe cases, people can be afflicted with pain, neurological problems, and disability.

Preventing Infections

The Department of Health advises that people can prevent rat lungworm infection from occurring by using common sense precautions in the handling of food, including:

  • Appropriately storing, inspecting and washing all food, especially produce.

  • Washing local produce thoroughly – no matter where it comes from – before eating.

  • Being diligent in controlling the spread of slugs, snails and rats on properties, especially if one maintains a home garden.

  • Watching young children while they play outdoors to prevent them from putting a snail or slug in their mouth.

For more information about rat lungworm disease, please click on the following link to the Hawaii State Department of Health website.

Travel to Hawai‘i

Leisure travelers or business groups can book their Hawai‘i trips with confidence, as no travel health advisories have been issued related to rat lungworm disease.

For past Special Alert notices, click here.


DIACRITICALS recognizes the use of diacritical markings of the (modern) Hawaiian language including the `okina [`] or glottal stop and the kahakō [ō] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai`i such as Lāna'i). However, you may notice these diacritical markings have been omitted throughout the website to ensure the best online experience for our visitors. recognizes the importance of using these markings to preserve the language and culture of Hawaii and respectfully uses them in all communications beyond the online platform.

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Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Phone: (808) 973-2255
Fax: (808) 973-2253

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