Flu Season Arrives: Are You Ready? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Flu Season Arrives: Are You Ready?

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Flu season has officially arrived in Hawaii. Though flu cases occur throughout the year, they tend to surge from October through May.

Dr. Sarah Park of the State Department of Health makes it her charge to keep our keiki healthy. The State's "Stop Flu at School" program is in its seventh year.

"The program is definitely ready, and we're already seeing a number of kids have been vaccinated quite successfully through the program" she said.

While it's running smoothly now, things could have been much worse. The government shutdown almost created havoc.

"Trying to figure out who's going to be around to make the orders, is the federal system going to be running to take the orders?" Park stated.

While that crisis was averted, many people in Hawaii still face the threat of flu.

"If you're pregnant, if you have any chronic lung disease, asthma, if you're a health care worker, you're a child care worker---we'd like you to take your flu shots" said Debbie Apolo of the American Lung Association.

"This is a tourist place, we don't want to give it to them, and we don't want to receive anything" she continued.

While it's too early in the season to tell which strain will be the most infectious, Apolo says the best defense against catching any type of flu is a two-pronged approach: getting a vaccination shot, and practicing good habits.

"Wash your hands, stay home if you're sick and if someone is coughing or sneezing, run!" she said with a laugh.

The American Lung Association has a handy "flu vaccine finder" on its website. To access it, just click on the link below. To find the nearest flu vaccine location, just enter in your home zip code.

http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/influenza/flu-vaccine-finder/

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