HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hawaii's top health leaders joined KHNL and KFVE News for the final installment of a special report, "Vaccine: Surviving Hawaii's Next Pandemic." They offered insight about what the state is doing to protect Hawaii residents from the swine flu.
"What we didn't anticipate was that "when" might very well be this week," said KHNL/KFVE's Mari-Ela David.
"We're very busy answering a lot of phone calls," said KHNL/KFVE's Paul Drewes.
State professionals talk about a pandemic's impact. Churches.
"We would want to be support and hopefully a calming effect," said Kawaiahao Church Kahu Curtis Kekuna.
"If it gets really bad, we assume we'll have to close the schools," said Asst. Superintendent of School Facilities Randy Moore.
"You have to look at the virus situation, what is this particular epidemic doing," said University of Hawaii-Manoa Chancellor Virginia Henshaw.
And the state's point people on infectious diseases.
"The likelihood that we'll be sharing germs with other people is very high," said State Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino.
"If a suspected age is confirmed, the public will know as soon as possible," said Lt. Governor Duke Aiona.
Questions of concern surrounding swine flu took the spotlight. The state's handful of suspected cases only involve travel within the last seven days.
"If you traveled 30, 40, 50 days ago and you have a little cold you don't fulfill the criteria," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.
While no sign of swine flu in Hawaii yet, officials stress hygiene and keeping calm.
"It doesn't mean life stops now it just means be more vigilant, more cautious," said Aiona.
Behind the scenes to on set, it's now an active collaborative effort to tackle this terrifying threat. State experts also advise you to have a plan in the case of a pandemic.
Some recommendations are having 30-days of food provisions and cash handy in case you're unable to use ATM's.