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First NY Death Connected to Swine Flu, City Closes More Schools

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nancy Crespo and seventh-grade daughter Alexis Morales hold a get well card for assistant principal Mitch Wiener outside a closed Intermediate School 238 on May 15, 2009 (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Nancy Crespo and seventh-grade daughter Alexis Morales hold a get well card for assistant principal Mitch Wiener outside a closed Intermediate School 238 on May 15, 2009 (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

An assistant principal has become New York's first death in connection to the swine flu virus. The city has closed a total of 11 schools over the past few days, because hundreds of students have come down with flu-like symptoms. And the mayor is scheduled to give an update on the city's response to the situation later this morning.

Mitchell Wiener had worked at IS 238 in Hollis for than 30 years. He was 55 and worked as a math teacher before becoming an Assistant Principal two years ago. Mayor Bloomberg called him a well liked and devoted educator and said his death is a loss for the city schools.

I-S 238 was closed on Thursday when the city reported that Weiner and four students had confirmed cases of H1N1 or swine flu virus. Wiener's wife has questioned whether the city should have acted sooner because her husband and dozens of students had fallen sick the week before.

A spokesman for Flushing Hospital Medical Center said complications besides the virus likely played a role in Wiener's death. By Friday the city had closed six schools and yesterday five more were shut in Queens, including a Catholic school, after high numbers of students were reporting flu like symptoms. The health department says it's closely tracking the virus, which appears to spread very quickly.

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Comments [1]

perfect simmonspride

Mr. Wiener was a nice man. I use to go to 238. He always looking out for us. He also help me too go to the next grade....

May. 18 2009 12:30 PM

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