Topics: Health

Virus Apparently Claims Retired Episcopal Priest

By: Alan Pollock

Though the news could not be confirmed through public health channels, the COVID-19 virus has apparently claimed the life of an 88-year-old Brewster man who was formerly a parishioner at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church of Chatham. According to the Rev. Brian McGurk, rector at St. Christopher’s, the Rev. Dr. Richard Ottaway, an Episcopal priest and college professor, died Sunday night at Cape Cod Hospital as...

Harwich Announces Presumptive Case of Coronavirus

By: Staff Reports

HARWICH — Town officials announced this afternoon that a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 has been identified in Harwich. Because of privacy laws, the demographics of the case will remain anonymous, the town announcement reads. “The close contacts of the positive case have been notified by the Visiting Nurse Association and are following CDC guidelines for self-quarantine,” the notice reads. With ...

In a response that flexes both their emergency response skills and their ability to improvise, Lower Cape officials are doing what they can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while keeping essential government services going. As of Friday morning, there were five confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Barnstable County, but with the increased availability of test kits, public health officials expect that n...

With a global pandemic threat, the struggling stock market and divisive politics in Washington, you might be forgiven for feeling a bit anxious lately. Add to those worries the problems of ordinary life, and those feelings might be overwhelming. According to information posted by the National Institute of Mental Health, it’s important to remember that stress is a natural reaction. “Occasional anxiety is an ...

Health: Fighting Coronavirus Fear With Facts

By: Alan Pollock

News headlines about the novel Wuhan coronavirus seem to get a bit more frightening each day, and the number of infected people is increasing, as is the geographic spread of the illness. But a review of the facts can help put the risk in perspective. Coronaviruses, so named because of their crown-like shape when viewed under a microscope, are nothing new. They often cause respiratory illnesses or the cold, and...

CHATHAM – Taking action ahead of a new state law set to go into effect June 1, the board of health last week approved regulations banning the retail sale of all flavored tobacco products in town. Last summer the board banned flavored tobacco sales in regular retail stores, but allowed the sales in adult-only smoke shops. The latest revision of the town's tobacco control regulations, slated to go into effect Ja...

The arrival of cold weather means that people are starting up their furnaces and fireplaces for the season. And when the snow flies and the power goes out, people find creative ways to cook their food and heat their homes. Together, these factors spell an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a product of all kinds of combustion, from candles and cookstoves to gasoline engines...

Perhaps you're in charge of preparing a church supper, a potluck dinner or your family’s Thanksgiving feast. But before you show off your culinary talents, consider taking some time to review some basic safety techniques for preparing and handling food. A poorly prepared holiday meal can have consequences that are more severe than dry turkey or a pie crust that isn’t flaky. Millions of cases of foodborne illne...

HARWICH – A handful of Monomoy Regional School District parents got a crash course in vaping on Oct. 16, when Kim Slade, a substance abuse prevention manager and vaping expert with the Barnstable County Department of Human Services, offered information on teen vaping that sent any defense of vaporizer use up in smoke. “From 2017 to 2019 we've seen a 135 percent increase in students vaping,” Slade told parents ...

Chatham Hosts Community Health Fair Saturday

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Curious about whether your skin has been damaged by the sun? Want to know more about tick-borne diseases, nutrition, or Alzheimer's disease? Maybe you'd just like to get a flu shot. If so, the board of health-sponsored Community Health Fair is the place for you. On Oct. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m., the community center will be turned into a one-stop shop for information, with participation from more than a ha...

HARWICH — The board of health has approved regulations to curtail access to flavored tobacco products, including for e-cigarettes, allowing their sale only in three adult-only retail tobacco shops that will be permitted to operate in town. Harwich joins several other Cape towns, including Chatham, in banning flavored tobacco products in general retail outlets. The new health regulations allow a maximum of 1...

HARWICH — A Harwich woman is demanding answers after she was discharged from Cape Cod Hospital and received, with her own medical records, several pages of a stranger’s records. Shirley Dubois, 86, underwent a battery of tests at the hospital for two days earlier this month related to ongoing medical concerns. When she was ready to go home, a nurse handed her a manila envelope with around a dozen stapled pages...

Mosquitoes have always been an annoyance, swarming and biting during summer outings, particularly in the evening. But now they come with a greater threat: Eastern equine encephalitis, a serious illness that has been detected in mosquitoes on Cape Cod. Eastern equine encephalitis, also known as EEE, is a mosquito-borne illness that, while very rare in Massachusetts, is beginning to spike, particularly in Bristo...

The lights are back on and much of the debris has been cleared, but for some people, troubling memories of last week’s storm will linger for awhile. And experts say that’s not unusual. “It’s perfectly normal that, after an event such as a tornado, folks would have strong emotional and physical reactions,” said Dayle Lawrence, clinical director of Cape Cod Human Services, which is Cape Cod Health Care’s outpati...

HARWICH — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued public health advisories recommending fish caught in two Harwich ponds not be eaten due to high levels of mercury. The advisory was issued on July 3 and pinpoints a number of ponds across the commonwealth where fish have been contaminated by mercury. According to the advisory, children under 12, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and women of chi...

When she was told in early June that Dr. Diane Campbell had abruptly left the Fontaine Medical Center in East Harwich, Pamela Scott Hanrahan was more than a little upset. For about seven years Campbell had been an attentive, caring primary care doctor for her family. “She was the kind of person who would literally lean in and listen to you,” Hanrahan said. But Campbell's departure left her scrambling to fin...