Experts advise travelers to take extra precautions as common illnesses, COVID-19 variants increase


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Travel-related cases of COVID-19 continue to appear in Hawaii as more residents take those long awaited vacations.

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“Nevada, which seems to be a place where a lot of our COVID-19 has been coming over from these past months,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

Meanwhile, the Garden Isle is seeing its fair share of travel-related cases.

“We’re seeing another rise in cases and many of these cases are related to each other and are linked to travel from the mainland or interisland,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, Kauai District Health Officer.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green says, the Delta variant shouldn’t be a cause for panic, but it should be a reason to get vaccinated.

“Now that we’re up to 55% of our community is fully vaccinated and 61% at least initiating the vaccination, we just have so much more protection,” said Green. “It makes the Department of Health’s job so much easier. We need to get to 70% in our state to feel widespread protection.”

The end of lock downs and loosened restrictions have also welcomed back other illnesses.

At the Doctors of Waikiki, they’re starting to see the common cold and bronchitis pop up, illnesses that nearly disappeared during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts are urging travelers to take extra precautions.

“If they have a high risk individual in their home and they’re not vaccinated or vice versa, they should get checked and they should take extra precautions,” said Dr. Tony Trpkovski, Medical director and co-founder of Doctors of Waikiki.

Dr. Trpkovski says it can be hard to tell a cold from COVID-19, but there are some signs to look out for.

“COVID-19, almost always you’ll have a fever,” Dr. Trpovski said. “You’ll have body aches. You’ll have other symptoms that seem a little more severe then what you have with the common cold which is usually just runny nose and irritated throat. Sometimes they’re the same. So you never know 100% based on symptoms. So if you’re not sure go see your doctor. Get checked.”

Another thing to look out for is the flu. Last year, we saw a steep drop off in cases, but with more people traveling, socializing and more kids returning to the classroom this fall, health experts warn we could have a very active flu season ahead of us.

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