HONOLULU – Local and federal officials are investigating the cause of a confirmed variant flu case on Maui. The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is working with federal and state partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture (HDOA) to find the source of how a Maui resident adult contracted the virus, known as H3N2v virus.
The resident sought medical attention after experiencing symptoms consistent with the regular flu, including fever, cough, and body aches. Because the patient’s primary care doctor is a participant in DOH’s influenza-like illness sentinel network (ILINet), a respiratory specimen was sent to the State Laboratories Division for testing. Lab results for H3N2v virus were confirmed by CDC late last week. The resident has since fully recovered without need for hospitalization.
“Fortunately, we have a robust surveillance network and our State Laboratory detected this variant virus and conferred with federal partners,” stated Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “Thanks to the excellent cooperation ofHawaii’s healthcare providers, participation in our sentinel network exceeds CDC recommendations. In addition to our state laboratory’s ability to identify unusual flu strains, sentinel physicians contribute to our ability to catch incidents such as this, which might otherwise fall below the radar.”
The H3N2v virus identified in this case shares genetic similarities to variant flu viruses which have been identified in several other states in the past year. The H3N2v virus has rarely infected humans and has caused only limited human-to-human infection. The small number of previous infections has occurred mostly among children and those who work closely with pigs (e.g., livestock farmers). In this case, preliminary DOH findings suggest the latter exposure, although the investigation is ongoing in collaboration with HDOA.
“The virus seems to be behaving as previously observed in other cases, with illness similar to seasonal flu and with no sustained community transmission,” noted State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “Still, anyone who develops flu-like illness within a week after close contact with domestic pigs should see their healthcare provider.”
Additionally, children, pregnant women, elderly, and those with compromised immune systems should be especially careful around pigs and practice good hand washing habits; those who work closely with pigs should take appropriate protective measures, including hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, and regular influenza vaccination.
“This particular virus is mainly transmitted through exposure to infected swine and is not transmitted through properly cooked pork,” said HDOA state veterinarian Dr. James Foppoli. “HDOA veterinarians will be taking samples to investigate the status of swine herds potentially associated with this case. The total number of human cases of swine derived influenza virus suggests that viral transmission from swine to humans is extremely uncommon. However, as in the past, we continue to emphasize that pig farmers and others having close contact with live swine practice good hygienic measures, such as frequent hand washing.”
Animal samples taken by HDOA will be tested by the DOH State Laboratory as part of their work as a member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
Additional information about H3N2v virus can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/influenza-variant-viruses-h3n2v.htm. Information is also available from DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division at http://hawaii.gov/health/DIB/index.html, and from HDOA Animal Disease Control Branch at http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/ai/ldc/ai_ldc.
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i – Maui County is still in the process of establishing a line of communication with Mayor Alan Arakawa, who is in Taiwan as Typhoon Saola bears down. At this time the mayor is not expected to be in any danger, as Taiwanese officials say Typhoon Saola is not expected to hit Taiwan directly.
According to the Pacific Disaster Center Typhoon Saola is projected to move by just to the northeast of Taiwan before impacting the Chinese coast on August 2nd. http://dynamic.pdc.org/snc/prod/31574/rr.html
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office selected Mayor Arakawa along with nine other US mayors to go on this trip to Taiwan, in order to promote business and cultural exchanges between Taiwan and the U.S. on the municipal level. The trip was sponsored by and paid for by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office inWashingtonD.C.
Both Mayor Arakawa and his wife Ann left for Taiwan on July 28th and are scheduled to return to Maui on August 4th.
Electrical service has been restored to customers in areas of Waiehu, Waihee and Kahakuloa, bounded by Kahekili Highway, Lower Waiehu Beach Road, Halewaiu Road, Malaihi Road, Waihee Vallery Road, and laterals as of 4:30p.m.
Power in the area was first reported out at 4 p.m. today. MECO apologizes for any inconvenience this situation may have caused and thanks customers for their patience and understanding.
PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Phillies have confirmed on their website that they have traded Shane Victorino, a 1999 St. Anthony High School graduate, to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Victorino is in the final season of a three-year, $22 million contract.
The Dodgers originally selected Victorino in the sixth round of the 1999 draft, but he was twice taken by other teams in the Rule 5 draft – by the San Diego Padres in 2002 and Philadelphia in 2004. It was with Philadelphia that Victorino recently collected his 1,000th hit, was a three-time Gold Glove center fielder (2008-10), two-time National League All-Star (2009, 2011) and played in the postseason five times, including as a part of the 2008 World Series champions.
“We’re excited to add an All-Star caliber player with postseason experience,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement released by the team. “He plays the game with passion, gives us a top of the order bat from both sides of the plate, can steal bases and is solid defensively in the outfield.”
Victorino was traded for for right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and Double-A relif pitcher Ethan Martin. Victorino is a lifetime .277 hitter and is currently batting .261 with 17 doubles, five triples, nine home runs, 40 RBIs, and 24 stolen bases in 28 attempts.
Lindblom is 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances this season for the Dodgers. He cannot become a free agent until 2018.
Martin was the Dodgers’ first-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He is 8-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 20 starts this season with Double-A Chattanooga.
Philadelphia (45-57) is currently last in the National League East, 16 1/2 games behind Washington. The Dodgers (56-48) are in a virtual tie for first place with San Francisco in the NL West.
(Report Provided by The Maui News)
Kahului, HI — July 31, 2012 — University of Hawaiʻi Maui College students interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM-related fields within a Hawaiian Studies and cultural context can now apply for performance-based incentives through the Kahikina O Ka Lā program.
Supported by the National Science Foundation, Kahikina O Ka Lā combines current STEM and STEM-related curricula with traditional Hawaiian cultural knowledge. Over the course of the next academic year Kahikina O Ka Lā will develop multiple STEM and STEM-related programs to assist youth from K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels as well as provide instructional opportunities for teachers and community leaders.
“Kahikina O Ka Lā is committed to guiding UHMC students to careers and leadership roles both locally and on a global stage,” said Damien K Cie, Project Director for Kahikina O Ka Lā.
For the 2012-2013 academic year approximately sixty students in STEM and STEM-related fields will benefit from the program. Applicants will be ranked on preference using multiple criteria such as GPA, course units completed, and academic interests and goals. Awarded students will receive continuous academic support through program counselors and an annual performance-based stipend award in the amount of $3,500 or $5,000.
To continue in the program, participants must meet minimum semester requirements, including but not limited to 1) maintaining a GPA of 2.5 ($3,500) or 3.0 ($5,000) 2) enrolling in STEM and STEM-related curriculum, with a minimum of one Hawaiian Studies course per year 3) creating an academic plan and meeting with a counselor twice per semester and 4) participating in academic enrichment (i.e. tutoring, mentoring) and providing campus and community outreach.
The Kahikina O Ka Lā program is funded through The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope Mitigation Initiative awarded by the National Science Foundation in response to the application to erect the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) upon the summit of Haleakala. To assist in addressing the impacts of the ATST, the college was given the opportunity to establish a program focused on providing a complement of science and technologically based curricula grounded in the context of Hawaiian culture. Over fifteen different STEM and STEM-related programs offered at the University of Hawai’i Maui College are eligible for this initiative, including Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dental Hygiene, Electronic and Computer Engineering. Kahikina O Ka Lā welcomes and encourages all incoming and current UHMC students to apply.
For further information regarding the Kahikina O Ka Lā program call 808-984-3543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hawaii restaurateur Bob Longhi, who opened his iconic eponymous Maui restaurant in 1976, died Monday at Maui Medical Center after suffering a heart attack on Friday. He was 79.
The Maui News reports Longhi, a former insurance agent from New York who moved to Maui after bringing his employees to the Valley Isle for a vacation, opened the first Longhi’s restaurant on Front Street in Lahaina. The newspaper reports Longhi’s became one of the highest-grossing restaurants in the nation, and attracted celebrity diners over the years from Robert Mondavi to Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Longhi also opened Longhi’s restaurants in the Wailea resort and at Ala Moana Center above Morton’s, The Steakhouse, and adjacent to Neiman Marcus.
(Report Provided by Pacific Business News)
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