Swine flu closes more NYC schools, spreads in Asia

May 16, 2009
An Indian hospital attendant, left, comes out from a swine flu emergency ward set up at a government Chest hospital in Hyderabad, India, Saturday, May 16, 2009. India confirmed its first case of swine flu Saturday in a man who arrived in the country on a flight from New York. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A)

(AP) -- The swine flu virus continues spreading among children in the city, closing more schools, and the disease reached further into Asia among travelers returning from the United States.

The says more than 4,700 confirmed and probable cases have been reported in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia.

Five people have died in the , all with underlying ailments, and an assistant school principal in New York remained hospitalized in critical condition Saturday.

The assistant principal, Mitchell Wiener, worked at one of the six schools that have been closed for a week because of the latest rash of suspected cases.

"Despite the significant disruption this causes, the Health Department has recommended closing these schools to reduce the spread of influenza," Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said Friday. The commissioner said there are "unusually high and increasing levels" of flulike illnesses at the schools.

Health officials couldn't immediately say whether the outbreaks at the schools are connected.

Wiener's wife, Bonnie, told reporters he had been feverish and sick for nearly a week before his intermediate school shut down. Wiener's son, Adam, said his father began "hallucinating and wasn't coherent" on Wednesday before he was rushed to a hospital.

Internationally, Malaysia, India and Turkey have reported their first cases, all involving people who had traveled from the United States. They are in addition to the 36 other countries where the says more than 8,000 cases of the disease have been confirmed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan on Saturday confirmed its first case of swine flu caught within the country, showing that the effort to block the flu at the island nation's borders had failed.

The government ordered schools closed in parts of the port city of Kobe, where the Ministry of Health said a male high school student who had not recently traveled abroad tested positive for the virus. Two other students at the same school were suspected of having the virus.

The latest confirmed case is Japan's fifth overall. The first four - three high school students and a teacher - had recently returned from a trip to Canada.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Ebola has killed 61 in Guinea since January

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NYC officials: Latest swine flu cases mostly mild

May 15, 2009

(AP) -- A day after a swine flu outbreak shut down three public schools in New York City, officials said Friday the virus is spreading faster than seasonal flu does, but the symptoms have generally been mild.

Sons: NYC asst. principal with swine flu very ill

May 15, 2009

(AP) -- Maintenance workers scrubbed desks and door handles Friday in a flu swine outbreak that shut down three New York City public schools and left an assistant principal hospitalized in critical condition ...

At least 7 hospitalized in US with swine flu

Apr 28, 2009

(AP) -- At least seven people were in U.S. hospitals with swine flu Tuesday as the number of cases nationwide rose to 64 and a federal health official warned that deaths were likely.

NYC mayor says 28 swine flu cases from 1 school

Apr 26, 2009

(AP) -- Twenty-eight students at a private New York City high school have confirmed cases of swine flu and 17 more probably have it, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday. City officials sought to distinguish ...

Schoolkids get 'flu days' even as CDC reconsiders

May 04, 2009

(AP) -- Federal health officials said Monday they were rethinking their advice that schools consider closing for as long as two weeks because of swine flu, a recommendation that has already given an unscheduled ...

Recommended for you

Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

14 hours ago

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

14 hours ago

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

Apr 19, 2014

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

vika_Tae
not rated yet May 16, 2009
"the effort to block the flu at the island nation's borders had failed", "had recently returned from a school trip to Canada".

There is something of a no-brainer here. If you desire to keep your borders closed against a disease, either do not allow your nationals to return from out of the country, or keep them in quarantine for the incubation period 50%.

Yes, it costs, but it does keep the disease out, which they failed to do here.
smiffy
not rated yet May 17, 2009
There is too much traffic to use quarantine measures against. Too costly.

The genie is out of the bottle anyway - the disease will come tomorrow even if it could be prevented today. Most of the current measures are PR exercises to show that the authorities are in control - at the very best they will buy some time, allowing rich nations to build up their supplies of anti-viral drugs.

The only effective way to deal with diseases like this is to prevent them from originating in the first place. This implies global improvement in animal husbandry.

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.