Seven new swine flu cases hit Hawaii, as schools remain open - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Seven new swine flu cases hit Hawaii, as schools remain open

Anetelea Moli Anetelea Moli
Tyrese Iulio Tyrese Iulio
Teka Iulio Teka Iulio
Troy Takazono Troy Takazono

By Leland Kim - bio | email

PEARL CITY (KHNL) - The state Department of Health confirms seven new swine flu cases Thursday morning, bring Hawaii's total to 40. They include three adults and four children.

One student is from Waiau Elementary, and another is from Mililani Middle School. The third is from a private school, and there is no information about the fourth child.

Of Hawaii's 40 cases, only one was hospitalized and four had recently traveled. State health officials say, it's a fact the virus is here, and it's up to everyone to contain further spread. The state is doing its part by upping surveillance at airports and alerting parents of cases in schools, but officials urge you to identify potential warning signs and take precautions.

"If you have a fever of a 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, and symptoms of sore throat and cough you need to stay home," said Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the director of the state Department of Health.

They recommend staying home for seven days, or until you're fever free for at least 24 hours.

The swine flu case at Waiau Elementary is the first one in Pearl City. It's safe to say parents and students are shocked. They did not expect swine flu to hit their campus, but the principal says everything is under control, and kids should continue coming to school.

Thursday afternoon, many at Waiau Elementary were unaware that their school had a confirmed case of swine flu or the H1N1 virus.

"I didn't know anyone was going to have the swine flu in our school," said Anetelea Moli, a 10-year-old fifth grader at Waiau Elementary. "Oh, no worry about it. No one's going to have swine flu in my class."

"I don't want to get sick," said Tyrese Iulio, a six-year-old kindergartener at the school. "I just want to go to school so I can learn."

Many parents heard about it when they came to pick up their kids.

"I'm kind of shocked right now," said Teka Iulio, a Waiau Elementary parent. "I was kind of hoping that it wouldn't come to this school, but I'm actually shocked. I'm speechless right now."

This is one of two public school swine flu cases reported Thursday. In all 18 of 40 are Department of Education cases.

The school has beefed up its hygiene practices since the H1N1 virus hit Hawaii. There are no plans to shut down the school or cancel any activities.

"We're not going to change anything that we're doing," said Troy Takazono, Waiau Elementary's principal. "We're already taking precautionary measures that we need to take."

Since swine flu hit Hawaii more than two weeks ago, it's forced people to take better care of their hygiene.

"When we first came into our class, our teachers keep saying wash your hands if you touch your mouth, nose or ears," said Moli. "Now that our class knows that, everyone started washing their hands."

A habit that will keep folks healthy now and during the flu season.

Waiau Elementary disinfected the entire campus Thursday. Again, the school stays open, and if students miss class for whatever reason, there are systems in place to make sure they stay caught up, so they can finish out the school year.

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