NYC Reopens Swine Flu Schools

First swine flu death of U.S. resident confirmed

Two New York City area schools that were closed because of suspected swine flu cases have reopened.

P.S. 177 in Queens and Rye Country Day School in Westchester County reopened Wednesday.

P.S. 177 had closed last week.

Officials at Rye Country Day School initially planned to close the school for two weeks beginning Tuesday but reopened Wednesday at the urging of federal and state health officials.

St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens reopened on Monday after being closed all of last week.

Today, New York state Health Commissioner Richard Daines says New York City has six newly confirmed cases of swine flu, bringing the total there to 80. 

The majority of New York City's 74 cases have been traced to St. Francis.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn said three other schools that were closed because of suspected swine flu cases reopened on Monday: Bishop Kearney High School, Good Shepherd School and St. Brigid School.

U.S. health officials said Tuesday they are no longer recommending that schools close because of swine flu.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the swine flu virus had turned out to be milder than initially feared. She said the government is changing its advice on closing schools.

The government last week advised schools to shut down for about two weeks if there were suspected cases of swine flu. Hundreds of schools around the country have followed that guidance and closed schools.

Sebelius said parents should still make sure to keep sick children at home.

Meanwhile, the swine flu epidemic continues to spread, a senior world health official said Tuesday, contradicting hopes voiced by some countries that the outbreak may have peaked.

Texas state health officials have confirmed the first death of a U.S. resident with swine flu.

The woman, a 33-year-old school teacher who had recently given birth to a healthy baby, died early Tuesday and had been hospitalized since April 19, said Leonel Lopez, Cameron County epidemiologist.

Of the 405 additional laboratory confirmed cases reported to the World Health Organization since Monday, some were new infections, said WHO flu chief Keiji Fukuda.

The global body says there are now 1,490 cases and 30 confirmed deaths. Of those, 822 cases and 29 deaths were in Mexico; the United States had 403 cases and 1 death; Canada had 140 cases, Spain 57, Britain 27, Germany nine, New Zealand six and Italy five. Israel and France had four cases each, Korea and El Salvador had two each, and Austria, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, Colombia, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland had one case each.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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