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Big Island Mayor Harry Kim diagnosed with walking pneumonia

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Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim spoke during a community meeting on May 4 in Pahoa. Kim has been diagnosed with walking pneumonia and awaiting the results of medical tests.

Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim has been diagnosed with walking pneumonia, county officials said this afternoon.

The mayor’s office issued a news releasing announcing Kim’s illness “in the interest of avoiding misinformation or rumors about his health.”

Kim is being treated, awaiting the results of medical tests, and taking antibiotics to address his symptoms, according to county managing director Wil Okabe,

“The mayor is very much in charge, but he’s pacing himself to ensure the county is running smoothly,” Okabe said in the news release. “The mayor is very much engaged in the day-to-day affairs of the county, and is being kept updated during the current eruption event.”

Okabe said Kim expressed confidence in the work of his department heads and their staff, who are working to keep the community safe.

Kim, 78, returned to work April 30 just days after possibly suffering two heart attacks, according to doctors. He underwent a heart procedure on Oahu, where doctors told him he had a heart attack in Hilo, and possibly a second in Honolulu. Those would have been Kim’s fourth and fifth heart attacks, following a triple bypass 10 years ago. The Kilauea lava outbreak began on May 3 and soon afterward a state of emergency was declared for the county.

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