U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and Hawaii Gov. David Ige joined forces on Monday to continue the fight against the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Along with Health Department Director Virginia Pressler and other officials, the leaders called for increased public awareness and additional federal resources “to prepare for and fight” the Zika virus in Hawaii and across the rest of the United States.

“As Hawaii continues to recover from the recent dengue fever outbreak, we must act before the Zika virus poses a major threat to Hawaii families,” Hirono said in a statement.

Sen. Mazxie Hirono and Gov. David Ige at Hawaii Biotech, where researchers are working to develop a Zika virus vaccine.

Sen. Mazxie Hirono and Gov. David Ige at Hawaii Biotech, where researchers are working to develop a Zika virus vaccine.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono

She added, “Stopping a widespread U.S. Zika outbreak requires a comprehensive approach and that’s why I’ll continue to push for action on the President’s emergency funding request to fund vector control, education programs, and vaccine development in Hawaii.”

For his part, the governor said, “We all have a stake in preventing the Zika virus and other mosquito borne illnesses from taking hold in Hawaii. We must continue our collaboration and coordinated statewide fight against these illnesses, and with much needed support from the federal government, we will work to reduce the risks here in Hawaii and across the country.”

Their remarks came after Hirono and Ige toured Hawaii Biotech’s facility, where researchers are working to develop a Zika vaccine.

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