May 27, 2009

No, it didn't go away. In fact, the daughter of one of my best friends was just diagnosed:

Two more New Yorkers have died with confirmed cases of swine flu, the city’s health commissioner said on Tuesday, bringing the city’s total number of deaths related to the virus to four. Emergency room visits and hospitalizations also continued to rise.

The commissioner, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, said the two latest casualties, a 41-year-old woman in Queens and a 34-year-old man in Brooklyn, were linked to the H1N1 virus by lab tests completed on Monday and Tuesday. Both patients had underlying health conditions that put them more at risk, he said. He added that he could not say officially whether the flu had caused their deaths until autopsies were finished. Both died on Friday.

Officials have cited underlying conditions as a factor in all four deaths in the city, but they have not revealed those conditions, citing medical confidentiality.

[...] Dr. Frieden, speaking at a news conference at the health department, noted that both patients who died were relatively young. Health officials have said that there is some evidence that people born before 1957 may have been exposed to a similar virus and may have some immunity to the novel strain of flu that is circulating.

Hospitals that normally get about 200 visits to the emergency room each day are getting 2,000 per day, he said, and more than 25,000 people have gone to emergency rooms over the past month. The numbers are highest in Queens, but are increasing in Brooklyn and, to a lesser extent, in the Bronx and Manhattan.

Over the last five days, he said, 20 to 25 people a day have been hospitalized with the flu. Before the weekend, the city had recorded only 57 hospitalizations for flu during the entire preceding 30 days.

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