Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Swine Flu Continues to Claim Lives

©2009 AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

Two more New Yorkers have died from Swine Flu, bringing the death toll to 100. This virus has infected more than 12,000 people. According to the WHO's pandemic rating the virus has reached phase 5. Experts say that a global outbreak is looming, but to reach a phase 6 the disease would need to spread beyond North America.

Twenty schools reopened on Tuesday in New York City. One of these schools was home to the assistant principal who was the first person to die in the city. Five more schools closed and the deaths of two people on Friday due to Swine Flu puts the number of deaths in New York City caused by the virus to four.

There have been 83 deaths in Mexico, 14 in the U.S., two in Canada and one in Costa Rica. Authorities said governments are already responding as if the virus has reached a pandemic.

"We are comfortable that countries are doing the kinds of public health actions that they need to be taking right now," said Assistant Director of WHO, Keiji Fukuda.

Meanwhile Singapore's health ministry said they are trying to find people who were on board a flight from New York after a 22-year-old woman from the flight came down with the country's first swine flu case.

Australia is dealing with possible cases from passengers off of a cruise ship and Chile reported three more cases, bringing their total to 79.

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