ブルームバーグ市長は、ホリスの中学IS238の副校長が入院して人工呼吸器管理されていると発表した。市の教育局は3つの公立学校の閉鎖を決めた。I.S. 238の4人の学生は豚インフルエンザと確認され、50人以上が5月6日以来風邪症状で自宅待機している。コロナのPS 16公立学校では29人がインフルエンザ症状である。エルムハーストのIS5中学では241人が学校を休んでいる。3つの中学は5-6マイル離れており、関連性は不明だという。
3 Queens Schools Closed After Flu Strikes Principal
By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
Published: May 14, 2009
Three public schools in Queens were closed Thursday because of outbreaks of flu, and an assistant principal was in critical condition with the city’s most serious case of swine flu since the virus turned up here more than three weeks ago.
Just as many New Yorkers were beginning to forget the threat of swine flu, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a hastily called news conference Thursday evening that swine flu had been confirmed in the sick man, whom colleagues identified as Mitchell Wiener, the assistant principal of Intermediate School 238 in Hollis. He was being treated at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, where he was on a ventilator.
Mr. Bloomberg said Mr. Wiener appeared to have had some health problems that could have made him more susceptible to the virus. His colleagues and friends said he had diabetes and sometimes walked with a cane.
In addition to Mr. Wiener, who is in his 50s, four students at I.S. 238 have been confirmed as having swine flu, officials said, and more than 50 students have been sent home with flulike symptoms since May 6.
The city’s Education Department decided Thursday to close that school, along with Public School 16 in Corona, where 29 students went to the nurse’s office Thursday with influenzalike symptoms, and I.S. 5 in Elmhurst, where 241 students were reported absent Thursday. Officials said the plan is to reopen those schools next Friday.
Mr. Bloomberg said there was no clear connection among the three schools, which are, “reasonably far apart, five or six miles.” He said they were being closed because swine flu appeared to spread very rapidly.
The school closings came nearly a month after the first swine flu was detected in New York City at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens, where several students had gone to Mexico on spring break. The flu spread rapidly there, infecting hundreds of students within days, though all have since recovered. Anxious New Yorkers, many without any symptoms, taxed hospital emergency rooms, and bought up supplies of hospital masks and Tamiflu from neighborhood pharmacies.
The mayor ― who was joined at the City Hall news conference by the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, and the schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein ― began by acknowledging that the new outbreak was somewhat unexpected.
“I am about to make an announcement that I had hoped we could avoid,” Mr. Bloomberg said. But he said the public health system had been effective in detecting the outbreak, and “we are acting as promptly as the evidence requires us to do.”
Gov. David A. Paterson, who also joined the mayor, urged the public “to remain alert rather than alarmed.” He said Mr. Wiener “is in our prayers.”
Jessica Scaperotti, a spokeswoman for the health department, said that 178 New York City residents had tested positive for swine flu as of Thursday, but that the number was deceptive because the city had scaled down its testing efforts as the symptoms in most people turned out to be mild and not much different from seasonal flu. The city continued, however, to look for patterns.
Teachers were visiting Mr. Wiener’s wife and three sons Thursday night at the hospital’s intensive care unit. “He’s fighting for his life,” said one of Mr. Wiener’s sons, who declined to give his name. His colleagues said he was a popular and effective school administrator.
A neighbor of Mr. Wiener said that Mr. Wiener’s wife, Bonnie, had said her husband was sick with swine flu as early as Tuesday. The neighbor, Donna Nieves, said she had seen Ms. Wiener in the laundry room about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and Ms. Wiener said, “Oh, oh, Mitch is so sick with swine flu; half the school’s shut down because everyone’s getting sick.”
Ms. Nieves said she came back to the laundry room with disinfectant wipes and began wiping down the washers and dryers, saying to Ms. Wiener, “I’m sorry, I just can’t afford to get sick.” She said that was the last time she saw her. On Wednesday morning, a neighbor told Ms. Nieves that Mr. Wiener, wearing a surgical mask, had been taken away by ambulance.
Kvon Williams-Sparks, 13, an eighth grader at I.S. 238, said that he had noticed that janitors were cleaning the rest rooms more often, and that Mr. Wiener had not been at work since Monday. “On Monday, I found a notice in the library that said, ‘If you are sick, you should stay home,’ ” Kvon said. “But nobody has otherwise talked to us.”
Asked if the city had let its guard down too soon, Mr. Bloomberg replied: “Most people haven’t come down with it. You’ve got to remember, we’re talking about 4,500 students here in a city of 8.4 million. It may very well be that a lot of people have it and the symptoms are so minor that they don’t even know it. That’s one of the things we’ll be studying.”
Reporting was contributed by Sewell Chan, Javier C. Hernandez, Angela Macropoulos and Mick Meenan.
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