誤った安全感覚に警告／豚インフルエンザ ＷＨＯ ワクチン
New York Reports Its First Swine Flu Death
Ruby Washington/The New York Times
By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
Published: May 17, 2009
Joseph Gates, right, principal of Intermediate School 238 in Queens. Mitchell Wiener, the assistant principal, died on Sunday.
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.
Mitchell Wiener, the assistant principal of Intermediate School 238 in Hollis, Queens, died Sunday.
Hours before the death of the assistant principal, Mitchell Wiener, city officials announced that five more Queens schools had closed.
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.
In Japan, the number of swine flu cases soared over the weekend, and authorities closed more than 1,000 schools and kindergartens .
Mr. Wiener’s death, which came five days after he entered the hospital and three days after his school, Intermediate School 238 in Hollis, Queens, was shut down by health officials, raised the level of concern among the public, especially parents, but health officials played down the significance of the death to public policy.
Health officials said Sunday that the death was not surprising, since even in a normal flu season, thousands of victims die of complications from the disease.
Mr. Wiener had a history of medical problems that may have put him at greater risk, the officials said. His family said that he had suffered from gout but that it was under control with medication.
The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, called the death “terribly tragic,” and said, “Our heart goes out to the family and to the community.”
“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.
After an early period of high alert when the virus was first detected in New York City, officials had more recently toned down their concern, leading Mr. Wiener’s family to lash out on Friday.
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.”
Late last week, the city closed five schools in Queens and one in Brooklyn, after five cases of swine flu were confirmed, including that of Mr. Wiener.
The city said on Sunday that it was closing the five additional schools because of the large number of children coming down with flulike symptoms like fever and coughing. That brought the number of schools closed in New York City to 11 since Thursday and to at least 15 since the virus was identified in April.
Jessica Scaperotti, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said that there were no more confirmed cases of swine flu but that the department had decided to close the schools because of “unusually high and increasing levels of influenzalike illness.”
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.
“We are evaluating the situation and looking at all schools in New York City and making decisions on a case-by-case basis,” Ms. Scaperotti said.
In a statement, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg asked New Yorkers to keep Mr. Wiener’s family “in their thoughts and prayers.” The mayor added, “He was a well-liked and devoted educator, and his death is a loss for our schools and our city.”
Ernest A. Logan, president of the principals’ union, called Mr. Wiener “the truest kind of educational leader, unsung, yet absolutely dedicated to his students, his teachers and fellow administrators.”
Chancellor Joel I. Klein and Randi Weingarten, president of the teachers’ union, were among the many officials who offered condolences. Ms. Weingarten said the death was a reminder of the need to monitor schools for flu outbreaks.
Mr. Wiener was hired as a teacher at Intermediate School 238 in September 1978, after working as a substitute teacher in the city six months. He became assistant principal of the school in July 2007.
|<< 前記事(2009/05/18)||ブログのトップへ||後記事(2009/05/19) >>|
|<< 前記事(2009/05/18)||ブログのトップへ||後記事(2009/05/19) >>|