Should Hawaii Visitors Worry About These Latest Travel Outbreaks?

Should Hawaii Visitors Worry About These Latest Travel Outbreaks?

This week, for starters, there were five confirmed cases of visitor whooping cough on Oahu. They were all visitors from one household who stayed at a “Honolulu hotel.” As a result, one child was hospitalized. None of those affected had been vaccinated against the disease.

Not only that but the “Norovirus-laden” Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria cruise ship pulled into Honolulu Harbor this week (lead photo). Perhaps 150 passengers were sickened with the travel-related disease. Norovirus is a word that is personally scary to BOH editors, who contracted it when traveling from Hawaii to Europe in 2023. It was nothing to mess with, that’s for sure!

“DOH is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other states to notify travelers who were exposed.” – Hawaii State Department of Health.

Whooping cough is highly contagious and quickly spreads between people. While it may start similarly to a cold, it develops into severe coughing bouts that can linger for months.

First whooping cough cases in Hawaii since 2023.

The last case was nearly one year ago. Between 2019 and 2023, however, DOH reported eighty-nine cases in Hawaii.

Whooping Cough Vaccines are the means of prevention, and there are two available in the U.S. According to the CDC, “the vaccination is recommended for all babies and children, preteens, and pregnant women. Adults who have never received one should also get a Tdap shot.”

Whooping cough and travelers.

This announcement underscores the importance of traveler awareness. The disease poses a risk to both travelers and the places they visit. These recent cases highlight a potential for disease transmission between travelers.

Whooping cough is especially dangerous in young children. Early detection and treatment can help prevent the spread of illness and protect Hawaii visitors and residents.

As wanderlust beckons us all, we want to remain well-informed and proactive about potential health risks.

Seamless! Southwest Hawaii Review Reprise

Lots of coughing too onboard Hawaii flights this week.

In the midst of this year’s winter cold, flu, RSV, and Covid cases, we are seeing a somewhat surprising trend on flights to and from Hawaii. For example, it was impossible not to take note of how many people were coughing on a flight to Kauai yesterday. There seemed to be little concern for public health, with coughs and sneezes not covered.

Whooping cough is a disease that honestly never enters our minds. It is caused by a bacteria, Bordetella pertussis, but has continued to make headlines with recent outbreaks in other parts of the world. Yesterday’s coughing and this from DOT, however, reminded us to remain more aware than we’d even like to be about the health risks associated with traveling.

Transmission of whooping cough occurs via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Thus, it is provided an ideal environment in crowded travel settings, including airports, airplanes, and other public transportation.

Hawaii cruise ship norovirus.

Queen Victoria at Honolulu following norovirus outbreak.

The CDC has been investigating the outbreak on the luxury liner where more than 150 people reported gastrointestinal illness, likely to be norovirus.

The Queen Victoria was en route from Florida to Hawaii via San Francisco, then Australia, when the outbreak occurred. The ship had nearly 3,000 passengers and crew members on board.

The Hawaii DOH said of this situation, “The cause of the illness has not been confirmed at this time, but the symptoms and spread appear to be similar to norovirus. DOH continues to be in active communication with the CDC and will provide more details as they become available.”

Please share preventative measures you use when traveling to and from Hawaii?

Leave a Comment

Comment policy:
* No profanity, rudeness, personal attacks, or bullying.
* Hawaii focused only. General comments won't be published.
* No links or UPPER CASE text. English please.
* No duplicate posts or using multiple names.
* Use a real first name, last initial.
* Comments edited/published/responded to at our discretion.
* Beat of Hawaii has no relationship with our commentors.
* 1,000 character limit.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

9 thoughts on “Should Hawaii Visitors Worry About These Latest Travel Outbreaks?”

  1. My husband and i have been coming to Ouhu for 25+ years, starting our honeymoon hete and i think ending with our retirement. Costs are ridiculous and way to many people.

  2. Off subject Guys, but here’s a very interesting article from Civil Beat about current housing availability for Lahaina fire victims. It seems that many STR owners are stepping up, but there’s a group of Lahaina fire victims who won’t take a paid for by FEMA property do to it not being located on West Maui.

  3. This absolutely sickens me and angers me to hear of the Preventable diseases! I don’t know when the Corporations will quit worrying about offending others and Do What Is Proven to save the masses from all these disgusting and dangerous diseases! It’s the same for many avenues of life. We’re all afraid to offend sensitive! Wrong!

    Whooping Cough Vaccines are the means of prevention, and there are two available in the U.S. According to the CDC, “the vaccination is recommended for all babies and children, preteens, and pregnant women. Adults who have never received one should also get a Tdap shot.” The Same Goes With Other Diseases Mentioned!~

  4. When I fly back and forth to Hawaii I always wear my “important distinction” (n95) mask. I am basically the only one and I am self conscious about it . I will continue to be vigilant as I fly to Maui once a year since 2021 and will be back to West Maui in October 2024. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a saying. Last November I wore my n95 on the flight out to Maui , after my 24 day stay I elected to not wear the mask for the return flight . It is a miracle I did not catch a virus as the couple seated be hind me coughed the whole flight back never covering their mouth once …..unbelievable these people . Lesson learned . Mahalo everybody !

  5. I believe there should be more concerns and research put into illegals invading Hawaii that are carrying disease.
    That is a larger risk of diseases being spread.

  6. I say shut the islands down again… worked so well the first time. I mean, HI didn’t lead the Country in case rate 3 times during its 2 yr lockdown.

  7. I had whooping cough before there was a vaccine. It was not fun. Think worse than bronchitis.
    Do you fellows mask on flights? We made RTs to w.coast in 2021, 2022 & 2023, & use a nitric oxide nasal spray. We spend the $$$ for first class, so exposed to fewer people. #Novid so far.
    You couldn’t pay me to be on a cruise ship.

Scroll to Top