http://mv-voice.com/print/story/print/2014/01/10/community-brief


Mountain View Voice

News - January 10, 2014

Community brief

Flu claims county's first victim

A 41-year-old woman who died shortly before Christmas is Santa Clara County's first flu death of the season, county health officials said.

The woman died on Dec. 23 due to the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

The county has also recorded seven cases of severe flu so far this flu season, six of which were also confirmed to be H1N1 and one of which was Flu B, officials said.

However, only flu cases in persons less than 65 years of age that are severe enough to require hospitalization in an intensive care unit or result in death are reported to the Public Health Department.

Health officials are urging residents to get vaccinated against the flu, saying it is not too late. This year's vaccine does protect against H1N1.

In addition, residents are reminded to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they sneeze or cough, wash their hands often with plain soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaners, avoid contact with those who are sick and stay home if they are sick themselves.

—Bay City News Service

Teen wins LinkedIn grant

Mountain View teen Rohun Saxena proved innovative thinking starts at an early age after recently receiving a LinkedIn Innovation Grant for his online social learning site, Eduko.

The 16-year-old high school junior at Mountain View High School began work on Eduko in June 2013. The idea behind Eduko (meaning "education" in Esperanto) is the demand for student tutors: the site is designed as a nonprofit education platform to connect students who need academic help with students that can provide help in return for earning volunteering hours.

Eduko captured the attention of social media powerhouse LinkedIn in September when it received LinkedIn's Innovation Grant, which aims to support new, unique programs in the social sector by awarding them $10,000. Eduko was chosen as one of 51 grantees from a pool of more than 150 applicants around the globe. LinkedIn publicly released the list of grant-winners last month.

Since receiving the grant, Saxena, along with his high school-aged co-founders and Eduko team, has been using the grant money to further develop Eduko's digital platform and increase its marketing efforts. The site now has over 100 users throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and India, and continues to expand.

As Eduko's mission statement explains, "1.3 million students drop out of high schools annually in the United State alone [...] 40 percent of them attribute the dropping out to the lack of parental support or because of failing classes. We believe this is a solvable problem."

Information about Eduko is at edukofoundation.org.

—Katie Straub

Rugby scholarships available

The local youth rugby season is about to start, and there are still scholarships available to cover registration fees, according to Paul Lynch of the American Youth Rugby Union based in Mountain View and Los Altos. The non-contact rugby league, which holds practices at Landels School, has teams for kids ranging in age from 15 to under 7 years old. The $80 registration fee can be a stumbling block, so the group offers 20 scholarships each season, Lynch said.

"We deliberately made it the lowest cost rugby program in the Bay Area, but prior experience suggests that even this level is beyond the reach of many families," he said.

Like soccer, rugby's equipment needs are minimal, he said. Kids who sign up get a uniform and rugby ball, and are coached by former players. "They also get an opportunity to be ball runners for (the) Stanford and San Jose University rugby teams," Lynch said.

The season starts Jan. 18 and ends March 15. For information, contact Paul Lynch at 650-776-1599.

—Andrea Gemmet

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