More people getting flu tests as a result of virus scare


HONOLULU — (KHON2) There are no known or suspected cases of the Coronavirus in Hawaii, but it is having some unexpected side effects, a doctor in Waikiki says there are more people getting the Flu shot as well as getting tested for Influenza as a result.

Doctor Alan Wu with Doctors of Waikiki says there is an increase of patient diagnosis of the Flu this season as more people visit their doctors for symptoms, as health officials continue to monitor the Coronavirus.

Wu said, “A lot of local residents are now more aware of flu-like symptom cold-like symptoms and they are coming in to see us more than usual because of this hyper awareness of what’s going on around the world especially with Coronavirus.”

Although there are no cases of the Coronavirus locally, the Influenza virus has been here since last year, and Dr. Wu says he has seen a spike in cases.

Wu said, “We are actually having more incidents, meaning more reporting positive for the influenza virus during this Flu season and this would help eliminate complications that are led by the influenza virus.”

Patients could get tested for the Flu with a simple swab to the nose, the sample is then taken to a molecular testing device where a diagnosis could be reached in about 15 minutes.

Wu said, “These tests are actually 95% sensitive and 95% specific meaning that if you have it it’s most likely it’s going to be positive.”

Wu says he has seen about a 20% increase of Flu cases within his practice, current CDC data ranks Hawaii in high levels of Influenza activity, compared to this time last year when activity level was low.

He said if any person is not feeling well to go see a doctor and not jump into conclusions.

Wu said, “If you have no exposure to anybody with known Coronavirus cases or they didn’t come from that part of China you do not need to be screened.”

He said at this point only people who have been to China or have been in contact with someone who has the virus are in need for further testing.

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