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.

Thus the recommendation is that if you have flu-like symptoms, you will be tested to confirm that it is flu, and not something more serious — such as Lyme disease — but will not be further tested to determine exactly what kind of flu it is.

There are exceptions: if you are less than two years old, more than 65 years old, pregnant or suffer certain chronic health problems, you may be tested further.

The latest case involved an elementary school girl. Her father only received confirmation that it was swine flu yesterday — by which time she had recovered.

Her father did not want to identify her or himself, but did want to underline the conclusion health authorities have come to, on the basis of their personal experience.

“It’s not such a big deal,” he said.

“I want you to tell people that yes, this kid did have it, and her parents report it was more benign than flus they’ve seen in the past,” he said.

“So, if you think you’ve got the swine flu, don’t panic, just plan on being sick for a few days. If your kid gets it, give them lots to drink, keep the fever down and they’ll be fine.”

He said when the girl became sick, the initial test showed flu, and they were told to assume it was swine flu. They then sought further testing.

The handling of this case is par for the course under the new more relaxed approach to handling the illness, Edgartown health agent Matt Poole confirmed yesterday.

“The state has stepped back on their testing and that identifying cases is sort of hypothetical at this point,” he said.

“I understand they do what they call an influenza A quicktest. If it’s positive, then it’s assumed to be H1N1. The only testing they are doing to confirm cases is for patients who fall into six special categories.

“They are children under two, people 65 or over, adults and children who have immuno-suppression, including that caused by medications or by HIV, adults or children who have chronic pulmonary/cardiovascular/circulatory disorders, pregnant women and children and adolescents less than 18 years who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy, who might be at risk of experiencing Reye’s syndrome, after contracting flu,” Mr. Poole said.

Therefore, he said, Island health officials did not know many people might have been infected with swine flu.

“I know of one [confirmed case] in Oak Bluffs and two alleged cases in Edgartown. But the state has said, in effect, ‘don’t send us any old samples.’”

He said town health agents, school nurses and other health authorities remain in contact, to monitor the levels of people reporting flu symptoms.

“You share information. You do surveillance. I’ve spoken with Donna Enos, the infectious diseases person at the hospital, and we’re aware of a number of flu cases that are presenting themselves,” Mr. Poole said, adding:

“We’ve agreed with the school officials that if it’s necessary to make any sort of decision that we’ll convene and huddle and make a collective decision.

“But if you close a school one week because of one or two possible cases, and then the next week one or two cases come along, then the same the third week, well nothing has changed, except you’ve had three weeks of school closures.

“Now 10 or 14 cases at one time might be different.”