Two more die from swine flu in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Two more die from swine flu in Hawaii

Health Department Director Chiyome Fukino MD Health Department Director Chiyome Fukino MD
Sarah Park MD Sarah Park MD

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Health officials say the swine flu death count has risen to 13 since the disease was first confirmed in Hawaii in early May 2009. The Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday that the latest cases involved a woman in her thirties who died in December and a 50-year-old man who died last week. Both cases were on the island of Oahu.

Officials say the woman, initially hospitalized for pneumonia, had underlying medical conditions that contributed to her death but the man had no underlying condition.

"This is a sobering reminder that influenza is a serious illness that can be fatal" said Hawaii state Health Director Chiyome Fukino MD. Fukino is urging everyone who hasn't done so yet to get vaccinated. She says vaccine supplies are now widely available and the flu season continues.

State Epidemiologist Sarah Park MD says the death of the man with no underlying conditions illustrates the importance of paying close attention to risk factors.

"The case is a reminder to otherwise healthy individuals that flu-like illness can rapidly worsen and to be aware of serious symptoms requiring prompt medical attention" said Dr. Park.

Warning Signs in Adults:

  • difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • pain or pressure in the chest/abdomen
  • sudden dizziness
  • mental confusion
  • severe/persistent vomiting
  • flu-like symptoms which improve, but then worsen with fever and cough

Warning signs in children

  • fast breathing, trouble breathing
  • bluish or gray skin color
  • not drinking enough fluids
  • severe or persistent vomiting
  • not waking up, not interacting
  • so irritable, they do not want to be held
  • flu-like symptoms which improve, but then worsen with fever and cough

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