Star-Advertiser 2/13/14: Health Dept Concerned About Spread of Measles

The state is concerned about the spread of measles after an Oahu infant contracted the highly contagious disease in the Philippines, and was infectious while traveling back to Honolulu and during visits to receive medical treatment.

The state Department of Health said Thursday afternoon that the child is hospitalized and recovering.

“We are very concerned about the potential for additional cases of measles,” said Dr. Sarah Y. Park, state epidemiologist. “This disease is so contagious that it will infect 90 percent of the contacts who are not immune. We urge people who suspect they have measles, that is, fever and widespread rash, to call their doctor right away and isolate themselves from others to help contain the spread of illness.”

The health department said measles is spread by “direct contact with mucus from the nose and throat of an infected person and through the air by respiratory droplets,” and is a risk to anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated.

Complications of measles are pneumonia, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), ear infections, diarrhea, and death, the health department said. Children younger than a year old, pregnant women, and anyone with a weakened immune system are most vulnerable..

According to the health department, the symptoms of measles generally begin about 14 days (range 7 to 21 days) after a person is infected and may include:

  • Blotchy red rash
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Feeling run down, achy (malaise)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots–not always present)

“We are encouraging everyone to check their immunization status and contact their healthcare provider if they need to be vaccinated,” said Ronald Balajadia, immunization branch chief.

For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit

Those with health insurance can call Aloha United Way 2-1-1 for assistance.

For more information, visit

Click here for the full Honolulu-Advertiser story.

State House Honors Nanakuli High & Intermediate Ladyhawks 2013 Championship Softball Team

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During a floor presentation today the Hawaii House of Representatives congratulated the Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Ladyhawks varsity softball team for winning the 2013 Data House/Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Softball Division II Championship.

Introduced by Representative Karen Awana (Nanakuli, Nanakai Gardens, Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Lualualei, Maili), HR24 continues the Legislature’s goals of recognizing the accomplishments of exceptional individuals and groups from across Hawaii. Recipients of legislative accolades are those who maximize their talents and demonstrate persistence, motivation, good sportsmanship, teamwork and aloha.

“I’d like to congratulate the players, coaches and parents of the Nanakuli Ladyhawks for their outstanding accomplishments,” Awana said. “I know the players will take the lessons and successes achieved on the field and continue to bring honor to their school and their community off the field as well.”

02 13 14 Nanakuli Ladyhawks Softball Championship

Sen. Shimabukuro with the NHIS Ladyhawks, 2013 Div. II Softball Champions

Sen. Shimabukuro with the NHIS Ladyhawks, 2013 State Softball Division II Champions.

Application Period for 2014 Preschool Open Doors Program: March 1 to April 30

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Feb. 12, 2014
Department of Human Services Announces
Application Period for Preschool Open Doors Program

The Department of Human Services (DHS) will be accepting applications for its Preschool Open Doors (POD) program between March 1 and April 30, 2014.  Applications received during this period will be considered for preschool participation between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.

POD is a DHS child care subsidy program that provides statewide services to eligible low- and moderate-income families sending their children to a licensed preschool, prior to kindergarten entry. The goal of POD is to promote school readiness and to help children develop a life-long love for learning.  The DHS and the Governor’s Executive Office of Early Learning collaborate on the POD program.

Effective August 2014, a child must be five years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten.  Families affected by the new 2014-15 entry age, and families with children who will be enrolling in kindergarten during the 2015-16 school year, are encouraged to apply for the POD program.  Underserved or at-risk children born between August 1 and December 31, 2009 will receive priority consideration for the 2014-2015 school year.

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POD applications will be available from the DHS contractor, PATCH, beginning March 1, 2014.  To reserve your packet on Oahu call 791-2130; on the Neighbor Islands call 1-800-746-5620.  Applications also can be downloaded from the PATCH website

Applications must be received by April 30, 2014 to be considered for the 2014-2015 program year.  Return the completed POD application to:

560 North Nimitz Highway, Suite 218
Honolulu, HI  96817

POD subsidies help Hawaii families pay tuition at any of the State’s 627 licensed group child care facilities (i.e. preschools).  Eligible families may select the preschool of their choice. Contact the PATCH office to find a facility in your area.

Priorities for POD program selection are detailed in HAR 17-799 posted on the DHS website at   For more information about DHS programs and services, visit

Media Contact:
Kayla Rosenfeld, DHS Public Information Officer