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Woman in her 50s is New York City's second swine flu death

NEW YORK — A woman died over the weekend of swine flu, becoming the city's second victim and the nation's 11th.

The woman, who was in her 50s, had other health conditions, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti said. No other information on her case was disclosed Sunday.

Assistant public school principal Mitchell Wiener, who died May 17, was the city's first death from the virus. The 55-year-old had been sick for several days.

There were 280 confirmed cases of swine flu in the city and 94 hospitalizations as of Sunday, Scaperotti said. The number of confirmed cases doesn't fully reflect the spread of the virus, given that health officials aren't testing everyone for the H1N1 strain.

"It's most likely that if you're sick with the flu, that you have the H1N1 virus," Scaperotti said.

The health department recommended that physicians prescribe antiflu drugs such as Tamiflu over the phone to patients with mild flu symptoms who have other health conditions.

Scaperotti said that as the virus spreads, "we are going to see more increases of severe illness." She said that each year more than 1,000 people die of seasonal flu in the city.

The World Health Organization, as of Friday, had tallied more than 12,000 swine flu cases worldwide, with more than half of them in the United States. It counted at least 86 deaths, with 75 of those in Mexico.

Eighteen U.S. soldiers infected with swine flu have recovered after treatment on an American base in Kuwait and left the country, a Kuwaiti health official said Sunday. He said the soldiers had shown "mild symptoms" of the disease upon their arrival at an Air Force base.

Army Maj. Jose Lopez, a military spokesman, said there were no reported cases of swine flu among American troops in Iraq.

Woman in her 50s is New York City's second swine flu death 05/24/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:50pm]
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