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Hawaii’s First Child
Flu Death of Season is 4-Year-Old Girl

Updated 11:46 AM HST, January 23, 2013
Posted 09:43 AM HST, January 23, 2013
Safeway Hawaii Pharmacies on Maui are now offering in-store flu shots on a “walk-in” basis until May 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Safeway Hawaii Pharmacies on Maui are among the island locations now offering in-store flu shots on a “walk-in” basis until May 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The state’s first flu-related pediatric death of the season was confirmed today by the state Department of Health.

Authorities say the individual was a 4-year-old female who died at a Honolulu hospital on Jan. 20.

“This is an uncommon and tragic death,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist, in a media statement today. “Not every child will become this seriously ill from the flu; however, it is a wake-up call for everyone to protect themselves and their loved ones against the flu. The flu vaccine is still the best method of protection and recommended for everyone six months of age and older.”

State health officials say despite the death, flu activity in Hawai’i is still considered low when compared with mainland states.

According to DOH officials, the seasonal flu is one of many illnesses that are prevented through vaccination. Vaccinating each child born in the United States in a given year following the current childhood immunization schedule, authorities say, could prevent approximately 42,000 deaths and 20 million cases of disease.

For information on locations where the flu vaccine is available, individuals can visit the following direct link: http://www.flu.hawaii.gov/VaccineLocator.html, or call 2-1-1. It is recommended that interested individuals call in advance to make appointments, as late season demand has affected vaccine availability.

Other methods for reducing the spread of flu include: washing hands often with soap and water, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying at home when sick.

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  • guest

    I read this story in another Hawaii news outlet yesterday, where it stated the child received the flu shot in October 2012. I went back later to the same story and it had been edited, so that it no longer reflected that, but now promoted others to get their flu shot. Hmmmmm…. Does the flu shot prevent getting the flu? In any case, a heart breaking outcome for this family, my thoughts and prayers go out to her family. :(

  • Daniel

    Unfortunately, the story conveniently doesn’t say that the poor little girl was just vaccinated against the flu virus in October, 2012. Flu vaccines are a $2.9 BILLION market! They gave her Tamiflu too. Twice in fact. Worked great didn’t it! More money to the pharmaceuticals. Such a sad, sad story, but pushing vaccines that don’t work and contain toxins is not right!

  • slim

    Don’t get the flu shot.. don’t believe the hype. Proper nutrition is the best way to avoid if you are a normal healthy person.

    • Dakine

      This is the dumbest thing I have ever read on this site.

  • nomorelies

    I am 48 years old and the last time I got the Flu was the last year I was vaccinated (about 10 years ago). I keep my immune system high by eating right, getting my 8 hours of sleep every night and exercising daily and haven’t been sick even one day for last 6 years. When your body is run down it is very easy for a virus to attack it successfully. I refuse to get another vaccine of any kind because it introduces dangerous chemicals into your body. Remember the big push to get Swine-Flu vaccine shots because of all the people that died from that virus in the USA? All that was untrue and was later retracted after the fact. Do some research and you will find the truth about ALL vaccinations and their dangers to the human body.

  • Pray for the Children

    Vaccines including the Flu shot are not perfect, but they are still the right thing to do for all children. The historical data proves that we have drastically cut the rates of many diseases due to the vaccination programs in this country. Unfortunately due to unfounded fears, some of these diseases have actually started trending higher in recent years. Each parent will make a decision based on their beliefs as to what is best for their children, as it should be. However, in the internet age which we all now live in, misinformation, unscientific data, out of context quotes, etc. will sway many uninformed people. This is sad as it may unintentionally expose children to risks that they otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to. I don’t know what you do about that. Finally, there are all of the conspiracy theorists out there who are making outrageous claims with regard to the government of our country. This is the most disturbing trend of all, these people are delusional and are desperate to believe in anything that comes along. God bless and save our children from these people…

  • usbworks

    Proper nutrition doesn’t stop a virus from inseminating millions of your body’s cells with its DNA, replicating itself and blowing up your cells. In 1918, the Spanish flu killed 50 million to 100 million people in 6 months. A third of the of world was infected in 6 months! That was long before air travel. Now a virus could do that in 1 month.

    Anyone suggesting recommending skipping the flu vaccine is practicing medicine without a license and deserves a Darwin award.

  • Rys

    Anyone who says that vaccines don’t do any good are either lying to themselves in a desperate attempt to validate their fears about how terribly bad for you vaccines are, or just don’t know the history of the good vaccines have done for the world as a whole. It was because of vaccines that we are now rid of smallpox and rinderpest.

    Also, if you did get the flu vaccine but got sick anyway, note that it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to do its work. Your body has to work with what it was given, so if you got the vaccine, but then caught the flu soon after, it was either bad luck/timing, or brings me to point #3.

    When they make the vaccines for that year, they’re also taking educated guesses as to what strains of the influenza virus will be active during that year. There are a number of strains of it, and they have to look at past data along with trends and information from various sources to determine what will be the best vaccine to make. There is always a chance that you get a strain that the vaccine just wasn’t designed to combat. And before anyone judges them for possibly getting the wrong strain in, just remember that they -are- trained professionals, and you surely can’t do better. For all the science and knowledge we have, we still aren’t perfect when it comes to nature and trying to prevent all that nature throws at us. All we can do is cope and try our best to survive.

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