Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Swine Flu Fear Hits New Level

New York City's first confirmed death from the swine flu, Mitchell Wiener's funeral is set for today at 2 p.m. at the Sinai Chapels in Queens.

Wiener, 55, worked at Intermediate School 238 - one of at least 21 schools closed due to swine flu. He is one of, at least, 273 confirmed cases of swine flu in New York State - 192 of which are in New York City.

Wiener's death is one of eight swine flu-related death in the country. Nationally, there are about 5,500 cases of swine flu.

But, fear of the swine flu has hit a new level. Hospital waiting rooms and emergency rooms are getting filled to capacity. The wait care at some hospital emergency rooms was up to 10 hours.

The attendance rates at schools are dropping because parents fear sending their children to school to prevent getting the disease. Various schools in New York State are reporting attendance rates that are just over half full.

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