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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hawaii in partnership to test for swine flu in Pacific Islands

Advertiser Staff

The state Department of Health, the Pacific Island Health Officers Association and the Association of Public Health Laboratories will partner to provide swine flu testing for the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands.

The partnership was announced today by the Department of Health.
A cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will fund testing in 10 USAPI laboratories.
The U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands include Guam, the Northern Marianas, American Samoa, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.
Pacific island health officials will no longer need to send samples away for testing.
“Specimen transport to and from the USAPI is usually long and complicated,” said Michel Epp, executive director of the Pacific Island Health Officers Association. “This can degrade lab specimens and significantly delay testing and reporting.”