Swine Flu Cost NYC $10 Million

New York City's top emergency management official says the swine flu outbreak has already cost the city $10 million.

Commissioner Joseph Bruno at the Office of Emergency Management gave the figure while testifying at a City Council hearing Thursday.

Dr. Thomas Farley said the city health department alone has spent about $4million.  He described the cost of the city's emergency response in prepared testimony for a City Council hearing on the same day the World Health Organization raised the swine-flu alert to pandemic status.

Farley said the health department can maintain its response to the outbreak. But he noted the shrinking pot of federal money for public health emergencies.

Farley took over as commissioner this week for Dr. Thomas Frieden, who left to head the Centers for Disease Control.

Six more swine-flu deaths have been reported in New York in just the last two days, bringing the city's total to 15 due to the outbreak. That's more than half the total reported 27 deaths in the United States.

City officials say 500,000 may have fallen ill from the virus since it turned up at a Queens high school after a group trip to Mexico in April.

The outbreak gripped the city and caused dozens of school closures throughout the five boroughs.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us