School official with swine flu dies

Meanwhile, nine New York City schools will be closed this week
May 17, 2009 5:23:52 PM PDT
Mitch Weiner, the assistant principal of IS 238 who contracted the swine flu, has died.Wiener may have had pre-existing health problems, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In many other swine flu cases that turned critical, patients had pre-existing conditions.

Weiner's death is the first in New York City linked to swine flu virus.

Meanwhile, three more New York City schools will close because of swine flu, bringing the current total to nine.

City health officials announced Sunday that two Queens public schools and one Catholic school would close Monday for up to five school days.

They are:

  • Middle School 158 in Bayside
  • Intermediate School 25 in Flushing
  • Our Lady of Lourdes in Queens Village.

    Each of the schools had students with flu-like illness last week.

    Six schools were closed last week after hundreds of students became ill with suspected swine flu symptoms. An assistant principal at one school remained critically ill Sunday.

    Those six schools are:

  • I.S. 238 in Queens
  • P.S. 16 in Queens
  • I.S. 5 in Queens
  • JHS 74 in Queens
  • P.S. 107 in Queens
  • I.S. 381 in Brooklyn

    New York City's first outbreak of swine flu occurred about three weeks ago, when more than 1,000 teenagers at a Catholic high school in Queens began falling ill following the return of several students from vacations in Mexico.

    "We are now seeing a rising tide of flu in many parts of New York City," New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said. "With the virus spreading widely, closing these and other individual schools will make little difference in transmission throughout New York City, but we hope will help slow transmission within the individual school communities. Given the large number of cases, it is entirely possible that in the coming days there will be people with severe illness from flu, particularly among people who have underlying health problems."

    In addition to suspending some schools with unusual clusters of illness, the Health Department advises any New Yorker who has flu symptoms and also has an underlying health condition such as asthma, pregnancy, emphysema or other lung disease or diabetes; a compromised immune system or cancer; to seek medical treatment. In addition, if an individual with such a medical condition has household or other close contact with someone with influenza, they should see their doctor to determine whether preventive medicine is needed. For students, staff and household members of affected students and staff at schools which have been closed, those who have an underlying medical condition as stated above should also see their doctors to discuss the need for preventive medicine.


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