30 Jun 2009

Airline causes delay in assessment of American Samoa swine flu swabs

6:37 pm on 30 June 2009

There was a delay in sending specimens of suspected cases of swine flu from American Samoa to Hawaii for testing because the territory's only international airline, Hawaiian Air, did not recognize the courier company used by the Hawaii State Laboratory, which conducted the tests.

Some of the cases whose specimens were tested off island had been swabbed up to three weeks before they were sent.

The chief executive of the LBJ Hospital, Patricia Tindall, says the hospital has now sorted out the problem between Hawaiian Air and the courier and she doesn't anticipate any further delays in the shipping of samples.

Of 33 specimens which were tested by the Hawaii laboratory, 8 were confirmed to be swine flu.

All have recovered.