Skip to main content
/health
  Edition: U.S. | Arabic | Set Pref

Utah reports first swine flu death; NYC has closed 21 schools

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: New York City has closed 21 schools since virus confirmed, health officials say
  • Utah reports first death associated with swine flu, or H1N1, virus
  • If confirmed by the CDC, it would be the ninth U.S. death linked to the outbreak
  • WHO: At least 10,176 people have been sickened and 80 have died worldwide
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- A Utah man with chronic health problems died Wednesday from complications associated with swine flu, a local health official said. If confirmed, it would be the ninth U.S. fatality associated with the flu outbreak.

Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden issued a press release on Wednesday on the city's school closings.

Memorials appeared at the door of I.S. 238 in Queens, New York, this week after the death of an administrator.

The man, who was from around Salt Lake City, was between 18 and 25 years old and "had chronic medical conditions that may have contributed to severe complications from influenza," said Gary Edwards, executive director of the Salt Lake Valley Health Department.

Also on Wednesday, health and education officials in New York announced that 21 of the city's public schools had been closed after an increase of reports of students with flu-like symptoms. A school administrator in Queens died after being hospitalized with the H1N1 virus, commonly called swine flu.

Nineteen of the schools closed at the recommendation of the Health Department are public and two are private, the city's Education Department announced in a news release.

In addition, two private schools in Manhattan -- St. Davis Academy and Horace Mann -- have decided on their own to close after a number of students exhibited flu-like symptoms, according the schools' Web sites.

In the city's news release, city Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden repeated what has become a familiar refrain: "We continue to see a rising tide of flu in many parts of New York City. As the virus spreads, we will look to slow transmission within individual school communities by closing individual schools."

Late last week the city closed 11 schools in Queens and one in Brooklyn after confirming cases of the virus at Intermediate School 238 in Queens and unusually high levels of flu-like symptoms in the others.

Mitchell Wiener, an assistant principal at I.S. 238 who died Sunday after being hospitalized with the disease, had an underlying condition, according to Frieden.

The death in Utah was the first associated with the swine flu, or H1N1, virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked eight U.S. deaths to the flu outbreak, but had not confirmed a link to H1N1 in the Utah death as of Wednesday evening.

The outbreak has sickened at least 10,176 people and caused at least 80 deaths -- mostly in Mexico, according to the World Health Organization. The actual number of people affected may be higher, as it takes time for national governments to confirm cases and report them to the global body.

In the United States, at least 5,710 cases of swine flu have been reported, according to recent figures from the CDC.

Utah officials echoed national agencies in saying that the swine flu has largely behaved like typical seasonal influenza, which usually is fatal only among the very old, the very young or people with other health problems.

In New York, 19 of the schools closed at the recommendation of the Health Department are public and two are private, it and the city's Education Department announced in a news release.

In addition, two private schools in Manhattan -- St. Davis Academy and Horace Mann -- have decided on their own to close after a number of students exhibited flu-like symptoms, according the schools' Web sites.

In the city's news release, city Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden repeated what has become a familiar refrain: "We continue to see a rising tide of flu in many parts of New York City. As the virus spreads, we will look to slow transmission within individual school communities by closing individual schools."

Late last week the city closed 11 schools in Queens and one in Brooklyn after confirming cases of the H1N1 virus, commonly called swine flu, at Intermediate School 238 in Queens and unusually high levels of flu-like symptoms in the others.

An assistant principal of Intermediate School 238 died Sunday after being hospitalized with H1N1. Frieden has said the administrator, Mitchell Wiener, had an underlying condition.

CNN's Deb Brunswick contributed to this report

All About Swine FluCenters for Disease Control and PreventionWorld Health Organization

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print
Home  |  Asia  |  Europe  |  U.S.  |  World  |  World Business  |  Technology  |  Entertainment  |  World Sport  |  Travel
Podcasts  |  Blogs  |  CNN Mobile  |  RSS Feeds  |  Email Alerts  |  CNN Radio  |  Site Map
© 2009 Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.