New York City Closes 17 Schools over Flu Scare
    2009-05-19 13:46:37     Xinhua      Web Editor: LiuDonghui
 
New York City has so far closed 17 schools due to a large number of students with flu-like symptoms, although only one school has confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu.

Sources said two schools in Queens Borough, P.S. 19 in Corona and P.S. 209 in Whitestone, were closed Monday for a week.

P.S. 209 had 211 student absences and another 31 were sent home Monday due to flu-like symptoms, according to school officials.

The United Federation of Teachers of New York has set up 11 hotlines in the five boroughs of the city to gather information on flu outbreaks and school closings.

Officials at the Child Legacy School on Roosevelt Island also announced Monday that they will voluntarily close for two days.

Meantime, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city health officials say their goal is to get help to people who will be the most affected by the flu, according to local TV channel NY1.

The city's Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and teachers union president Randi Weingarten said they are closely monitoring schools where students have been absent because of flu-like symptoms.

The assistant principal of a school in Queens, New York, who had been hospitalized with A/H1N1, died Sunday evening. It was the first death in New York State from the outbreak.

The assistant principal, Mitchell Wiener, 55, had been reportedly "overwhelmed" by the illness despite treatment with an experimental drug, said Ole Pedersen, a spokesman for Flushing Hospital Medical Center, where Wiener had been a patient since last Wednesday.
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