Hawaii conducts airport screenings for flu-like illnesses - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii conducts airport screenings for flu-like illnesses

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hawaii becomes the first and only state in the nation to implement a voluntary checkpoint screening process to detect flu-like illnesses among incoming international travelers.

The initial phase of the pilot program was launched in June. The State now moves to the next phase.

Pilots must notify the Honolulu airport tower if they are arriving with a potentially ill passenger on board.  Passengers who have fever and respiratory symptons are then asked to undergo flu testing.

Director of Health Chiyome Fukino says infectious diseases may spread from other parts of the world to our state because Hawaii is a major international travel destination.

"That's why it's so important our department and or partners be prepared and able to check the airport for ill travelers who may have infectious diseases," said Fukino.  "We want to help control the spread of new illnesses, not only to our community, but to others as well."

In November 2005, Hawaii was the first state to establish a passive airport surveillance program for all Honolulu-bound travelers.




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