Dead Toddler Appears Free of Swine Flu, But PANIC Persists


New York officials are saying that the 18-month-old whose death triggered a new round of swine flu PANIC, Jonathan Zamora of Queens, did not have swine flu, at least as determined by analysis of nasal swabs. To be extra sure they are sending tissue samples to the CDC. amNY reports that this announcement came “as swine flu continued Tuesday to migrate through city schools,” though only one of the 23 closed city schools has had a confirmed case. (Updated list here.)

The Daily News refers to “swine flu panic,” though it does not adopt the capitalization we have vigorously promoted, and reports a large drop in many schools’ attendance (P.S. 60 in Staten Island, for example, which has one possible swine flu case, recently had 55 percent attendance, and this week performances of the school play, “Hello, Dolly!” were postponed).

It’s a touchy subject, as we learned from reader response when we jocosely referred to Horace Mann’s recent closing, and some city officials are calling for more information from the mayor, who maintains his usual tightness of lip on the subject. Nonetheless in Long Island five schools that have had confirmed swine flu cases are staying open. “Be prepared, not scared,” says Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.