Swine Flu Fears Prompt More School Closings

Bronx baby becomes NYC's 5th casualty due to illness

Two more 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.

The swine flu outbreak began in New York in April and has gripped the city ever since.

Bronx Baby is Latest Casualty

A Bronx child has officially become the fifth person in New York City to die with swine flu.

The medical examiner is conducting tests to determine what role the virus played in the child's death.
The Health Department has refused to release the victim'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 on Thursday, according to The News.

"I went in to check up on him, I turned him around and he was purple," his aunt Jennifer Castellanos told The News. "He was a completely healthy baby."

The Health Department and medical examiner's office did not immediately return calls for comment on Monday.

"I have nothing to live for anymore," father Louis Montañez told the Daily News. "You don't know how painful this is. We're going through such a bad situation right now."

The swine flu outbreak hit New York City in April. Authorities say most cases of the virus have been mild.

The first four people who died of the virus in New York City ranged in age from 34 to 55.

For the latest list of school closings, you can always visit the Department of Education Web site.

Meanwhile, city comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson said increased demand for medical attention has left hospitals in parts of Queens in a state of crisis.

Thompson urged the city and state to take action to ensure that hospitals and emergency rooms will be able to provide quality care to New Yorkers.

He added that recent hospital closures are contributing to the problem.

There are over 10,000 confirmed cases of swine flu and 18 deaths related to the virus in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. New York has 605 confirmed cases of swine flu.

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