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Eskimos get swine flu vaccine

10th November 2009

An emergency medical rescue team has been flown out to a traditional Eskimo village on an island in the extreme western part of Alaska, to vaccinate the inhabitants against swine flu.

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Medics arrived at the village of Diomede, home to just 130 people, on a helicopter borrowed from the Alaska Army National Guard.

David Head, who was part of the medical mission, said that Diomede was probably the most isolated place in the United States, and that his team thought it would be best to just fly out and vaccinate people.

The village of Diomede is located less than three miles from Big Diomede Island, which is part of Russian territory.

Passenger air service in and out of the village was halted four months ago, because the only usable helicopter broke down.

Patrick Omiak Sr., the village tribal council president, said that there was no way people could get out of the village.

Omiak, who is 73 years old, has not been ill, though many of the members of his community have.

Most residents of Little Diomede Island, which is only two square miles large, subsist on bowhead whale, walrus and seal.

They are Ingalikmiut, a branch of the Eskimo tribe.

Three people, including one sick child, have been flown to hospitals for treatment.

 

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Article Information

Title: Eskimos get swine flu vaccine
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 13201
Date Added: 10th Nov 2009

Sources

Yahoo News

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