The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) requires all institutions experiencing a suspected influenza (flu) or influenza-like illness (ILI) outbreak to report this information immediately. ILI would be symptoms are cough or sore throat accompanying a fever or history of fever. Although this would be the minimum criteria for ILI, children can also experience gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting, when infected with the flu.
Schools are required to report flu like activity to the HDOH when absentee rate exceeds 10% for entire school OR absentee rate exceeds 20% of one grade or class.
In order to report influenza like activity to HDOH, please call (808) 586-4586. Also, please download and fill out the following form to the best of your ability and either fax it to (808) 586-4595 or email it to DOH.Flu.Surveillance@doh.hawaii.gov. If emailing, please password protect the excel sheet and send the password in a separate email for confidentiality and privacy purposes.
If you are not sure if the ILI activity in your school needs to be reported, please contact the Disease Reporting Line at (808) 586-4586. ILI activity in schools is immediately reportable, so please do not hesitate to call. HDOH personnel will assist you in determining how to proceed with your particular situation.
During the outbreak, HDOH personnel will be able to assist you in preventing further spread of infection in your school. We will send you free kits to swab your students for influenza and other respiratory virus testing. You may be able to work closely with your public health nurse or Disease Investigation Branch personnel to collect specimens for testing at the Hawaii State Laboratories Division.
Once the specimens have been tested, we will know if your school has an influenza outbreak or an outbreak of another respiratory virus. In the event of a confirmed respiratory virus (including influenza) outbreak, HDOH personnel will provide you with materials you may need to encourage students to stay at home and practice good hygiene. This will prevent the outbreak from spreading further.