3 children and 1 adult confirmed with flu, increasing state count to 30


POSTED: Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An adult and three unrelated children have tested positive for swine flu, pushing the statewide total to 30, the state Department of Health reported yesterday.

None of the four had traveled recently, and the adult had no connection to any past cases, said department spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

One child is a student of Anuenue School, where there have been nine other confirmed cases, Okubo said. The other two are preschool-age children, one of whom had exposure to an earlier case. Okubo did not know whether they attended preschool.

All 30 confirmed cases have recovered or are recovering at home and have had no complications, Okubo said. Some have been laid up in bed for several days, she said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said yesterday the majority of cases are in younger people between the ages of 5 and 24.

The H1N1 flu virus, like seasonal flu, is spread through respiratory droplets, usually by coughing or sneezing.

Anuenue School, a Hawaiian immersion school in Palolo, has had 10 cases—one elementary school teacher and nine students, officials said. Most have recovered and returned to school, Okubo said.

Anuenue School Principal Charles Naumu said he was expecting a major decline in attendance yesterday, based on media coverage and the number of those who have gotten the flu, but that was not the case.

“;Because we were the first school identified with having the flu, there's been a lot of focus on us, and the numbers have been higher than elsewhere, so I can understand the attention we've been getting,”; he said. But based upon the medical information, the symptoms are not as severe as the regular flu, he said, pointing out the disparity in the number of deaths from seasonal flu and H1N1.