New York Reports Its First Swine Flu Death, May 17, 2009, assistant principal, New York City public school, Mitchell Wiener, experimental drug, Ribavirin, overwhelmed by the illness

From the NY Times, May 17, 2009:

“New York Reports Its First Swine Flu Death”

“An assistant principal at a New York City public school died of complications from swine flu in an intensive care unit of a Queens hospital on Sunday night, the first death in New York State of the flu strain that has swept across much of the world since it was first identified in April.”

“On Friday, Dr. Daniel Jernigan, head of flu epidemiology for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there had been 173 hospitalizations and 5 deaths reported to the agency. But he emphasized that most cases in the United States — possibly “upwards of 100,000” — were mild.”

““We are now seeing a rising tide of flu in many parts of New York City,” Dr. Frieden said. But he added: “Nothing we’ve seen so far suggests that it’s more dangerous to someone who gets it than the flu that comes every year. We should not forget that the flu that comes every year kills about 1,000 New Yorkers.”

Mr. Wiener, 55, had been “overwhelmed” by the illness, despite beginning a course of treatment with an experimental drug, Ribavirin, after he failed to respond to other antiviral drugs, according to Ole Pedersen, a spokesman for Flushing Hospital Medical Center, where Mr. Wiener had been a patient since Wednesday.”

“His wife, Bonnie, a reading teacher, blamed the city for failing to act sooner to close the school where she and her husband both worked. “I know we have a duty to educate the children of New York,” Ms. Wiener, who is not sick, said on Friday. But, she added, “something just doesn’t fit right.””

“A total of 105 students were documented with flulike illness at Middle School 158 in Bayside, Our Lady of Lourdes in Queens Village and a building in Flushing that houses three schools with a total of 1,320 students, including Intermediate School 25. All of the schools will be closed beginning Monday for at least five days, the department said.”

Read more:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/18/nyregion/18swine.html?ref=health






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