The State of Hawaii has been preparing for a possible flu pandemic
for some time now. Our state can always be more prepared, but we do have a strong framework in place for response to a pandemic
if it should reach Hawaii.
The State implemented its airport flu surveillance program in November of 2005. Hawaii
has since become the first state in the nation to establish an airport surveillance program designed
to detect novel influenza viruses including avian influenza. The protocol calls for Queen's Airport
Medical Service to evaluate ill passengers at the arrival gate when pilots notify the Honolulu airport
tower. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Quarantine Station as well as the Hawaii
Department of Health may also be notified if the passenger is assessed to have a potentially communicable disease.
Passengers who present with fever and respiratory symptoms consistent with flu will be asked if they would voluntarily undergo testing for
flu virus by sampling with a nasal swab. Samples are sent to the State Laboratory for testing. The program’s goal
is to improve the state’s ability to detect, identify, and prevent the spread and outbreak of common and uncommon flu
viruses as well as help curb the potential threat of a pandemic flu outbreak.
“Due to Hawaii’s unique geographic location in the Central Pacific Ocean, we realize how important
it is to establish some type of monitoring as well as a detection system,” said Health Director Chiyome
The 2006 Legislature has approved the Governor’s request for a Emergency Appropriation for Pandemic Flu
Preparedness. This provides $11 million for an electronic data system to track patient cases, public
information campaign and purchase of an antiviral stockpile. These actions are
in line with the National Pandemic Flu Plan
released by President George W. Bush. The national plan recommends each state stockpile enough medication to cover
25 percent of the state's base population.
"The stockpiling of antiviral medications is part of our Administration's proactive strategy to protect
Hawaii residents and visitors from a possible outbreak of a pandemic flu," said Governor Linda Lingle.
On April 25, 2006, Governor Lingle and U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona signed a Pandemic Flu Planning Resolution,
an agreement by the U.S. government and the state of Hawaii to work together to refine and exercise plans for
response to an outbreak. The Hawaii Pandemic Flu Preparedness & Response Plan
will help guide and facilitate statewide emergency preparations and is just one step in Hawaii's response to the possibility of a flu pandemic.
"We now have a plan, but implementation is and will be a critical step," said Fukino. "Success will depend upon
the DOH and partner agencies working together to educate people on how to prepare and protect themselves and others
against flu and other infectious diseases in the event of a public health emergency in Hawaii."
DOH has been leading efforts in Hawaii to educate the public about the difference between seasonal flu, avian flu
and a pandemic, and to provide local governments and decision makers with tools and tips they can use to prepare
for the possibility of a pandemic. The Department's goal is to provide the most current and comprehensive information regarding
the outbreak of avian flu in Europe and Asia, and tips about how we all can prepare for the significant impact a
pandemic would have here in Hawaii.
The web site draws information from national response plans and resources on the federal pandemic flu website, www.pandemicflu.gov,
and augments these with Hawaii specific information compiled from various state agencies and
the Hawaii State Department of Health. The public may submit their pandemic flu questions to
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Pandemic flu: A flu pandemic is a global outbreak that occurs when a new influenza A virus causes serious human illness and spreads easily from person to person.
Avian flu: Avian, or bird, flu occurs naturally among birds. All bird flus are influenza A. There are many strains of avian flu viruses, some are more common than others.
Seasonal flu: This is the influenza virus that tends to infect people each year during the winter months. In many people, its symptoms are mild and last no more than a week. However, about 36,000 Americans die of seasonal influenza each year.
Influenza A: Influenza A viruses are found in many different animals, including ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses, and seals. Influenza A is primarily a respiratory disease, causing cough, congestion, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, and fever in most species it infects.
Influenza B: This virus circulates widely only among humans. It generally does not make people as sick as influenza A does.
State of Hawaii Pages
- Hawaii Public Health Pandemic Flu Plan
(Updated January 2008)
- Hawaii Public Health Pandemic Flu Executive Summary
- Preparing for Pandemic Flu
- Pandemic Flu Frequently Asked Questions
- Avian/Bird Flu Frequently Asked Questions
- Seasonal Flu Frequently Asked Questions
- Protocol for Flu Testing at Honolulu Airport
- Controlling Contagious Diseases
- Social Distancing
Hawaii Pandemic Flu Presentations
- 2006 Pandemic Flu Presentation (Businesses)
- 2006 Pandemic Flu Presentation (HCDC)
- 2006 Pandemic Flu Presentation (School Board)
- 2005 Avian Flu Presentation
Related State Press Releases
- DOH Offers New One Stop Web Page for Pandemic Flu Information (5/9/06)
- Governor and U.S. Surgeon General Sign Pandemic Flu Plan (4/25/06)
- DOH Finalizes Pandemic Flu Plan (1/25/06)
- DOH Solicits Public Comment on Pandemic Flu Plan (11/22/05)
- State Outlines Plan to Fight Pandemic Flu (11/17/05)
- Influenza Surveillance at Honolulu Airport (11/7/05)
Related Fact Sheets and Links
- Avian Flu Fact Sheet (NYDH)
- Avian Flu Information for Children (kidshealth.org)
- Checklist for Businesses (HHS)
- Checklist for Childcare and Preschool (HHS)
- Checklist for Families and Individuals (HHS)
- Checklist for Government and Agencies (HHS)
- Checklist for Schools Grade K-12 (HHS)
- Checklist for Colleges and Universities (HHS)
- Questions and Answers About ABC TV Movie: Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America (HHS)
- Wildlife Health Bulletin in Response to ABC TV Movie (NWHC)
- Frequently Asked Questions (CDC)
- Frequently Asked Questions (pandemicflu.gov)
- Frequently Asked Questions (WHO)
- National Pandemic Flu Plan (whitehouse.gov)
- Journalists Pandemic Flu Plan (WHO)
- Pandemic Flu Characteristics (HHS)
- Pandemic Flu Planning Update (HHS)
- Pandemic Flu School Action Kit (CCHS)
- Preparing for Pandemic Influenza (HHS)
- Seasonal Flu vs. Pandemic Flu (pandemicflu.gov)
- Traveler's Health Information (CDC)
- Advice for Travelers (CDC)
- Quarantine and Isolation (CDC)
- Quarantine Legal fact Sheet (CDC)
- Symptoms and Treatment for Regular Flu (CDC)
- Cover Your Cough (MDH)
- Prevent the Spread of Germs (CDC)
- Food and Water in an Emergency (FEMA)