Flu Clues - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

May 4, 2009

Flu Clues

Lots of people are weighing in nowadays on the swine flu concern, and rightly so.  How ironic, yet timely, that about four weeks ago, and completely by coincidence, KHNL and K5 began airing a three-part, federally-funded, prime time series on a flu pandemic, its inevitability in this state, with a focus on who would and would not receive the limited vaccinations available.

Again, the airing of these specials was not prophetic or planned as a precursor to the current worldwide concerns about a new strain of flu that won't necessarily respond to existing drugs.  And what about mutations of this new version of the flu bug?  Will the authorities and drug manufacturers be able to provide supplies large enough to inoculate the higher-than-normal numbers we can expect to see line up for shots this fall?

Will the U.S. government be able to ensure that foreign-made sera are readily available on short notice in this country if a widespread pandemic takes hold?  Are there business interests at play that might preclude mass doses being manufactured?  The best thing you can do right now, aside from practicing vigilant hygiene, is to stay informed, keep apprised by reading up and understanding all of the numerous implications of a major health scare.  Hopefully, this one will pass as a serious warning and will help officials make sure the next one, if more serious, can capably and quickly be handled.  Think about it...

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