2 More NYC Swine Flu Deaths Reported

Eighty percent of New Yorkers hospitalized with swine flu had underlying risk factors

The swine flu virus has claimed the lives of two more people in New York City, raising the total number of fatalities to seven, according to New York City health officials.

The two newest fatalities involve adults in their early and mid 40s, the Health Department said.
 
City officials said most of the seven fatal cases involved people with underlying risk factors, implying that at least one person without underlying health risks succumbed to the virus.

An adult near Syracuse was the first New Yorker outside of the city to die of swine flu. The state confirmed the death Tuesday. 

And health officials in Connecticut confirmed Wednesday the state's first swine-flu-related death.

Eighty percent of New Yorkers hospitalized with the swine flu had one or more underlying health conditions, according to the Health Department. All patients with flu symptoms are presumed to have the H1N1 virus because tests are finding very little garden variety flu at this time.

Hospital visits have declined in the city from their peak on May 25, according to sources, but there are still more people than usual visiting emergency rooms at this time of year.

A total of 341 city residents have been hospitalized throughout all five boroughs with swine flu as of Tuesday, and 8 percent of those patients required the assistance of a ventilator machine, according to health officials.  

The city's surveillance found the swine flu disproportionately affected children under the age of 18, but now it's broadened out to include more adults, according to an official document obtained from health officials. 

Health officials said the death of a Bronx child this week was swine-flu related.

The Health Department did not release the child's name or say what borough the child lived in. However, the New York Daily News identified the child on Monday as 11-week-old Steven Montanez of the Bronx.

The family said the baby had the flu when his aunt found him unconscious last Thursday, according to The News. The swine flu outbreak hit New York City in April.

Overall, the vast majority of swine flu cases are still mild, and non-life threatening, according to the Health Department. 

The first four people who died of the virus in New York City ranged in age from 34 to 55. Two more city schools announced Tuesday they're closing because of the swine flu outbreak.

PS 15 and the PAVE Academy Charter School, which share a building in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, will be closed for the rest of the week. At least 20 students there have been out with flu-like symptoms so far this week.

The schools will re-open on Monday. PS 209 in the Bronx announced last night that it was closing its doors for the rest of the week.

Health officials have confirmed 114 cases of swine flu in New Jersey and 20 probable cases.

School 28 in Paterson is closed Wednesday after an early dismissal on Tuesday because more than 100 students were reported absent. A large number of students exhibited flu-like symptoms, but no cases were confirmed.
       
No one has died from swine flu in New Jersey.

New York officials said an adult in Onondaga County is the first person outside New York City to die of swine flu. Officials said there are 780 confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus in New York state.

The World Health Organization said the disease has reached 64 countries and infected nearly 19,000 people, causing 117 deaths.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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