According to the latest Department of Health reports, doctors are seeing an increase in the number of patients displaying influenza symptoms in Hawaii. This leads pharmacists to believe Hawaiians are more susceptible to the disease than others. While the flu season is approaching its peak on the mainland, physicians say an outbreak of the disease will follow close behind in Hawaii.
Latest Department of Health Reports
Per DOH’s official reports, more Hawaiians are displaying signs of the disease with each day that passes. Physicians say that out of the 897 tests for influenza they dispatched during the second week of January only 22 percent came back positive for the virus. Nevertheless, this is still regarded as higher rates than Hawaii physicians are used to seeing.
Furthermore, the increase the state currently experiences accounts for an overall unusual peak in flu-related cases across the country, as well. Hence the physicians’ concerns regarding Hawaiians’ predisposition to the virus. More worrying is the fact that the trend has been catching on nationwide for six weeks in a row now.
Health Experts Speak Out
Even though the number of cases in on the rise, physicians say there is no reason for Hawaiians to be alarmed. However, this serves as a reminder of the benefits of the flu shot, says Department of Health’s Deputy Epidemiologist, Dr. Melissa Viray.
The wake-up call comes as Times Supermarket pharmacists say they also noticed more people skipping on the vaccine this year. As opposed to last year’s flu season, when nearly 10,000 people got the flu shot, this year only around 8,500 came in to get vaccinated. Slightly worrying, says Island Urgent Care, given physicians have been in the possession of the vaccine since August last year.
Even though more Hawaiians come in with flu-like symptoms every day, doctors say it is still too early to properly assess the effectiveness of this year’s vaccine. Nevertheless, they still do recommend the population to seek medical help in battling the disease, as it takes approximately two weeks before the shot comes into full effect.
Even if a vaccinated individual still contracts the virus, doctors say the patient will experience visibly milder symptoms than those who do not seek better immunization via the flu shot at all.
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