City Health Big Says “Hundreds” of Swine Flu Cases; CDC Says 45. (UPDATE: 2nd School Closed; Brother Leonard Speaks!)


You know how it is — one kid gets swine flu, and the next thing you know everybody’s got it. New York health commissioner Thomas Frieden says he now suspects “many hundreds” of swine flu cases in the city. CDC still says we have a total of 45, making 64 cases nationally, but they’re just trying to be cautious, which of course nobody appreciates. Most of the new confirmed cases are reportedly from the original St. Francis Prep infection site, but the city is looking at another nearby Fresh Meadows school, P.S. 177 (aka the Robin Sue Ward School for Exceptional Children) and a Manhattan parochial school, Ascension. The Mayor says two sufferers have been hospitalized, but by and large the cases are mild.

Reuters says “In US, there’s anxiety over swine flu but no panic.” But give it a couple of hours.

Update 3:30 p.m.: They’ve closed P.S. 177 and the health department is investigating. Meanwhile Brother Leonard Conway, the Headmaster of St. Francis Prep, has just given a press conference: He says that he now plans to open the school on Monday, and that some of the sick kids’ parents have called to say their children are feeling better already. Brother Leonard says he called the health department when he noticed “flocks of kids going to the nurse’s offices, all reporting the same symptoms.” Congressman Anthony Weiner, who was on the call, says that the scrubdown of the school’s classrooms and offices, which you’ve probably seen on the news, was almost certainly “redundant,” since the virus is transmitted person-to-person.

Photo (cc) The Pug Father.