New York City Has First H1N1 Flu Death

May 18, 2009 11:44:53 AM PDT
The H1N1 Flu could be making a comeback. This comes after New York City reported its first death from the virus over the weekend. Eleven New York City schools are closed as officials try to prevent the spread of Swine Flu after the virus claimed its first victim in the outbreak here.

New York City Mayor Micheal Bloomberg said, "We can't stop the virus from spreading, so our goal is to stop those who are most at risk."

Mitchell Weiner, the first person in New York to die from Swine Flu - officials believe was at risk - because he had a pre-existing condition. He's the sixth person in the U.S. to die from Swine Flu. At the school where he was assistant principal, students and parents are in mourning.

"He was a special person to us, so I thought I should leave something for him to show how great he was."

Health officials say Swine Flu, also known as the H1N1, is spreading more rapidly than the seasonal flu.

Dr. Anne Schuchat with the Centers for Disease Control said, "This virus is quite transmissible, probably more transmissible than seasonal influenza because so many people are not immune to it."

In Japan, the virus is also moving fast. The total number of cases there rose to more than 100 over the weekend, 2,000 schools have been closed ... public events cancelled ... and the severity of the global outbreak has world health officials alarmed.

WHO General Director Margaret Chan said, "For the first time in humanity, we are seeing - or we may be seeing - a pandemic influenza evolving in front of our eyes."

With Swine Flu continuing to spread fast and the public seeming less concerned about the flu than when the outbreak began, doctors in the U.S. have become worried about complacency. They want you to closely monitor your health and stay home if you feel sick.

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