3 New York schools close due to flu
NEW YORK - New York City has closed three schools in response to a swine flu outbreak that has left an assistant principal in critical condition and sent hundreds of pupils home with flu symptoms, in a flare-up of the virus that sent shock waves through the world last month.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that four pupils and the assistant principal have documented cases of swine flu at a Queens middle school. More than 50 pupils have gone home sick with flulike symptoms there, he said. At another middle school in Queens, 241 students were absent yesterday. Dozens more were sick at an elementary school.
The Health Department said the assistant principal is on a ventilator, marking the most severe case in the city to date. The pupils who have fallen ill in this latest surge of illness appear to be experiencing mild symptoms, similar to routine flu.
The mayor said that the sick assistant principal may have had preexisting health problems. In many other swine flu cases that turned critical, patients had preexisting conditions.
Bloomberg said three locations, all special education schools with more than 4,000 students, would be closed for at least a week because.
New York City's first known cases of swine flu appeared in late April, when hundreds of teenagers at a Roman Catholic high school in Queens began falling ill after the return of several students from vacations in Mexico, where the outbreak began.