Swine flu afflicts 4 children and 1 adult on Oahu


POSTED: Friday, May 15, 2009

An adult who traveled to California recently and four children in different schools, all on Oahu, have been confirmed with swine flu by the state Public Health Laboratory.

;[Preview]  Five New H1N1 Cases Brings Hawaii Total To 15

All of the new H1N1 cases are on Oahu, including one adult who traveled to California and four school-aged children.

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The five cases, reported yesterday by the Health Department, raise the total to 15 since the first three Hawaii cases were confirmed May 5.

The children include three public school students—one at Aina Haina Elementary School, one at Mililani Middle School and one at Anuenue Elementary School, where two cases—a teacher and an adolescent—were confirmed Wednesday, said Department of Education spokeswoman Sandy Goya.

The fourth child confirmed with the H1N1 virus is not a public school student, she said.

The infected children “;are recovering from mild flu cases comfortably at home,”; Goya said. She said all schools are remaining open and activities will proceed as planned.

Staff members at the schools have taken measures to disinfect their campuses and are sending letters to parents at Aina Haina Elementary and Mililani Middle schools, Goya said. Anuenue Elementary will update parents on the school Web site, she said.

Janice Okubo, state health spokeswoman, said the Health Department is continuing an investigation to identify, notify and test anyone in close contact with those confirmed with swine flu.

All the people stricken have recovered or are recovering at home, she said.

“;We definitely know there is community transmission,”; Okubo said. “;We are expecting to find additional cases because it (the virus) is in the community.”;

Residents are cautioned to continue washing their hands often, to cover a cough or sneeze and stay home from school or work if they are ill.

The Health Department has scheduled a public meeting for 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, 86-260 Farrington Highway, to hear public opinions on vaccine allocation priorities in case a severe pandemic occurs.

State epidemiologist Sarah Park, chief of the Disease Outbreak Control Division, will present an overview on pandemic influenza and issues related to vaccine, and provide an update on H1N1 swine flu in Hawaii.

Participants will be asked to talk about their concerns and make suggestions for decision-makers when prioritizing distribution of limited vaccine supplies in event of a pandemic.