Flu Grips Island, But Relief and Containment May Be on the Way
Ivy Ashe

A free flu shot clinic hosted last Sunday by the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Vineyard Nursing Association and Island boards of health was called a success by town officials and health care workers.

“We will be less sick as a little population because of this effort, and I wanted to commend the collaboration,” Cynthia Mitchell, West Tisbury selectman and executive at Island Health Clinic, said at the town selectmen’s meeting this week.

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Flu Outbreak Spreads; Hospital Hosts Free Vaccine Clinic
Ivy Ashe

With a worsening early flu outbreak across the country causing a run on vaccines on the Island, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Island boards of health announced that they will hold a free clinic Sunday for Islanders seeking flu vaccinations. The clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital, Edgartown health agent Matthew Poole said. The clinic will be held in the physician's office building from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital, Edgartown health agent Matthew Poole said.

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Flu Fears Are Here, but Not Reality, Yet
Mark Alan Lovewell
Flu season is here, and the biggest concern now is who might get it.

Dr. Melanie Miller, a pediatrician, said this week: "We have been inundated by concerned parents. There are a lot of panicking parents out there."

For the moment, the main challenge to health care providers is education rather than treatment.

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Preschool Flu Clinic Set as Virus Spreads
Lauren Martin

After more than 100 Island high schoolers called in sick on Wednesday — including 10 football players, 10 members of the boys’ soccer team and the cheerleading coach — Saturday’s football game and the season’s final two soccer matches were canceled, beginning a cascade of sports suspensions and other precautions as cases of suspected H1N1 flu spread quickly among Vineyard youths.

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Nature’s Flu Remedy
Suzan Bellincampi

The most notable thing in season right now is the flu.

Pandemic pandemonium has set in, and many people are reaching for the antibacterials. Fight the urge: hand washing will do, too, and is chemical-free.

For those seeking natural relief, there is another potent potion to fight the flu. It’s a local, native and delicious decoction made from a plant found on-Island.

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Second Case of Swine Flu Confirmed
Mike Seccombe

A second case of swine flu has been confirmed on the Vineyard. There may have been many more; but we’ll probably not be advised of them.

The state guidelines for dealing with the pandemic now recognize the fact that for the great majority of people who catch it, swine flu is not a serious health problem. So public health officials have ceased daily county-by-county updates.

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Swine Flu Kills Oak Bluffs Man With No Other Health Issues
Lauren Martin

Vases wrapped with Xeroxed photographs of a muscled, smiling young man sat on the counter of Island Star convenience store in Edgartown yesterday, accepting contributions for the widow of Elton Barbosa, a 26-year-old Oak Bluffs resident who died on Friday of H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.

Mr. Barbosa had no known underlying health conditions, officials said. Most swine flu-related deaths have involved other health factors, such as an existing immune deficiency or other medical ailment.

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Towns Spread Information To Stop Swine Flu Spread

As cases of swine flu (H1N1) virus multiplied elsewhere, Island towns were quick to issue guidance this week about taking precautions and being prepared should the virus spread. In Massachusetts, Department of Public Health officials confirmed two cases in Lowell.

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Swine Flu Case Confirmed on Island
Lauren Martin

A woman in her early 40s was hospitalized for two nights last week with a confirmed case of H1N1 influenza, or swine flu, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital chief executive officer Timothy Walsh confirmed late yesterday.

This is the first confirmed incidence of the virus in Dukes County. The case means that every Massachusetts county has now had at least one confirmed case, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported yesterday.

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Island Flu Vaccination Postponed Due to H1N1-Related Shortage
Jim Hickey

Because shipments of seasonal influenza vaccine will arrive on the Vineyard later than expected, the annual Islandwide innoculation will be postponed until the second week of November.

Seasonal flu innoculation is now scheduled to take place at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School on Nov. 11.

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