Woman Becomes NYC's 2nd Swine Flu Fatality

Monday, May 25, 2009  |  Updated 1:41 PM PDT
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Photos: Swine Flu Outbreak Worldwide

AP

A woman in her 50s who died over the weekend has become New York City's second swine-flu related fatality, the health department said.

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A woman in her 50s who died over the weekend has become New York City's second swine-flu related fatality, the health department said.

The woman who died over the weekend had underlying health conditions, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said. She was from Queens.

Mayor Bloomberg said the woman did not work for the school system, but would not release more information about her, citing her family's request for privacy.  The mayor would not say whether she had children in city schools.

Last week assistant principal Mitchell Weiner, who taught in Queens, became the city's first death after a nearly weeklong battle with the virus.

New York City has 280 confirmed cases of swine flu, the greatest concentration of cases within the U.S. The city announced 33 new cases yesterday. More than 30 schools across the five boroughs have been shuttered as a precautionary measure. 

“The new H1N1 virus is here in New York City,” said Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden.  “Many school children have mild flu, as they do each flu season. We are closing certain schools in an effort to slow transmission within the school community and protect those at highest risk of complications from flu.”

Weiner, who died Sunday, was a life-long Mets fan and beloved assistant principal for 30 years at the Susan B. Anthony school in Hollis, Queens. His wife, two sons and more than 400 mourners remembered him at a funeral service on Wednesday.

"Although my dad would look awful ridiculous in tights and a cape, he had the elements of a hero," Jordan said through sobs at the service. "Mitchell Wiener is the rock of my family."

The city's first outbreak of swine flu occurred about a month ago, when more than 1,000 teenagers at a Catholic high school began falling ill following the return of several students from vacations in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The World Health Organization tallied more than 12,500 swine flu cases worldwide as of Monday, with more than half of them in the U.S. Of at least 91 deaths, 80 were in Mexico, where the outbreak was identified in April.  The nation's 12th swine flu fatality was reported in Chicago this weekend.

Eighteen U.S. soldiers infected with swine flu have recovered after treatment on an American base in Kuwait and left the country, a Kuwaiti health official said Sunday.

"They were treated and they have fully recovered," said Youssef Mandakar, deputy head of Kuwait's public health department. He said the soldiers had shown "mild symptoms" of the disease upon their arrival at an Air Force base.

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