Saturday, April 25, 2009


St. Francis Preparatory High School in Fresh Meadows, Queens. Health officials confirmed that at least 8 students probably have the swine flu after a senior trip to Mexico.

Swine flu in NYC?

Photo taken in Mexico City where 61 have died by Miguel Tovar/AP
The Health Department is conducting tests to determine whether swine flu has found its way into our area after 75 students at a Queens high school turned up sick with potential symptoms for the virus. Students from St. Francis Prep in Fresh Meadows are being tested after dozens have reported nausea, fever, dizzyness, aches and pains. One student told NY1, "My chest is really tight, it feels like a 20-pound baby is sitting on my chest. I have shortness of breath, I can't even walk up the steps, and as you can hear I'm stuffy and my coughing is getting really bad."

There are no confirmed cases of swine flu in the city and initial results from the first students tested are said to be coming back negative. Concerns about the potential of an outbreak at St. Francis Prep have arisen since some students had just visited Mexico over Spring Break.

In Mexico City, 61 people have already died as a result of swine flu. Schools have been closed, museums shut down and residents urged to avoid hospitals if they are not suffering from serious conditions. A Center for Disease Control spokesman said, "We are very, very concerned. We have what appears to be a novel virus, and it has spread from human to human. It's all hands on deck at the moment."

Health Department officials will be sanitizing St. Francis Prep over the weekend. They said that they are implementing "enhanced citywide influenza surveillance" to identify any possible cases that may develop. Here is a CDC FAQ addressing key facts regarding swine flu.

Swine Flu Concerns After 75 Turn Up Sick at Queens HS - Gothamist: New York City News, Food, Arts & Events

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