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A Maui Resident is one of four people from Hawaii added to the list of confirmed swine flu cases.  The additional cases bring to 10 the total number of confirmed H1N1 virus confirmations in the state.

The Maui Resident is an adult, who actually tested positive while in Washington State.  The patient became ill while in Washington, was hospitalized briefly, and has since fully recovered.  The individual will be returning home after a period of required isolation.

The three other Hawaii cases include two adults and an adolescent, all of whom are Oahu residents with no history of recent travel.  The three are recovering or have recovered at home.

The Department of education has been notified and close contacts of the individuals are being identified, notified and tested if they have symptoms that meet the criteria for influenza illness.

The three Oahu cases were laboratory confirmed by the DOH State Laboratories Division, and the Maui resident case was laboratory confirmed by the Washington State Public Health Laboratory.

The DOH State Laboratories Division has been validated by CDC to confirm novel Influenza A (H1N1) cases for the state. Therefore, specimens need no longer be sent to CDC for final confirmation, although select specimens will continue to be sent for further strain characterization.

State health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said, “It is not unusual for us to find additional cases of novel H1N1 Influenza A as this nationwide outbreak continues. The numbers are not as important at this point as the severity of the illness and recovery of the cases. We continue to urge people to follow recommendations and stay at home if they are sick, wash hands frequently, and cover your cough.”

(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009)