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Department of Health Releases Influenza Educational Videos

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health announced the release of a new series of influenza education videos. Working in partnership with the Department of Education and private schools, the video series was developed with input from students and teachers as well as community pediatricians.

“The whole idea was to involve youth and see how we could help our educational partners inform kids about important health and science topics while having fun,” stated Dr. Sarah Y. Park, State Epidemiologist. “Working with the kids was amazing,” she added.

In the videos, students in grades 4–6 explore and explain various facts about influenza, “going viral,” flu prevention, and pandemic preparedness in a series of skits and real-world scenes.

Highlights include the Blue Flu Rap:


An interview with a local family caught overseas and falling ill during the early days of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.


The flu video release is a timely reminder of the importance of continuing flu vaccination during and after the holiday season, into January and beyond. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get the annual flu vaccination.

Formore information about getting vaccinated, please talk to your healthcare provider. For a listing on where to get vaccinated, go to: http://hawaii.gov/health/flu-hawaiigov/Documents/flushotschedule.pdf.

The family-friendly videos are:

“The Flu is a Very Viral Thing,”


“Keep the Flu from Going Viral,”


“Prepare Your Family,”


Puna Community Medical Center Seeing Rise in Flu-Like Illnesses… Swine Flu?

Two weeks ago I mentioned a possible Swine Flu exposure at Montessori Schools in Pahoa.

The following was posted today on Punaweb by Dan Domizio of the Puna Community Medical Center.


In the past 3 weeks, we have seen many adults and children with a “FLU-LIKE” illness with the following characteristics; rapid onset, high fever (ADULTS with temps of 103 and 104!); adults more knocked down than children; gradual waning of temp (over 2-3-4 days) to “low grade”; shifting to more typical picture of a cold with runny nose and cough. Some folks have had nausea, some with vomiting, gradually shifting to loose stools or frank diarrhea for a day or so.

MOST folks go through the entire process in 7-10 days; back to school or work in 3-4 days. NO SPECIFIC TREATMENT (antibiotic) is available to stop this process; you deal with the headache and fever, with the cold symptoms and the cough, you rest, eat lightly, drink a lot of water or tea or juice, and get well. Only people with asthma, or smokers, have needed additional management.

Could this be H1N1 (“swine flu”)? Yes, it could be, but that does not change anything about how it is managed. Influenza is viral and self limited; only those with previous respiratory disease, the frail elderly, pregnant women, and infants are at increased risk of SECONDARY problems.