Swine Flu Spreads, More Schools Close

The front steps of I.S. 238, the Susan B. Anthony Middle School, after one of the school's assistant principals, Mitchell Wiener, 55, died of complications related to the H1N1 swine flu virus over the weekend, the city's first fatality related to the outbreak, and the nation's sixth. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

The front steps of I.S. 238, the Susan B. Anthony Middle School, after one of the school\'s assistant principals, Mitchell Wiener, 55, died of complications related to the H1N1 swine flu virus over the weekend, the city\'s first fatality related to the outbreak, and the nation\'s sixth. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Twenty-six schools in New York City have been shut down because of swine flu concerns. For the latest information on how swine flu is affecting New York City's public schools, you can visit the Department of Education web site and a list of schools is provided at the end of this post.

New York health officials are looking into the death of a 16-month-old toddler who was taken to a Queens hospital with flu-like symptoms. Elmhurst Hospital Center said the little boy had a high fever when he was brought in last night.

On Sunday, a public school assistant principal, Mitchell Wiener, became the city's first swine flu death. Hospital and city officials say complications other than the virus probably played a part in Wiener's death. But his family has said he suffered only from gout, a joint disease.

The city is increasingly encouraging people in certain health categories to get medical help – and even go to the hospital -- if they think they have swine flu. For weeks, Mayor Bloomberg and health officials discouraged most people from heading to emergency rooms. But following the flu death of Wiener and the possible flu death of the 16-month old, Bloomberg says people shouldn’t be shy about getting help.

'If you have an underlying medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes, and you have a fever with either a cough or sore throat, see your doctor immediately for medical treatment.'

Health officials say they are assembling a statewide system for tracking sick students amid the H1N1, or swine flu, outbreak. This follows concerns raised by Governor Paterson who's worried about the lack of a centralized system that could help detect flu cases earlier.
Mayor Bloomberg announced his selection of Dr. Thomas A. Farley – a pediatrician, epidemiologist, and expert in public health policy – as the city’s new head of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Mayor Bloomberg announced his selection of Dr. Thomas A. Farley – a pediatrician, epidemiologist, and expert in public health policy – as the city’s new head of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Swine flu is also spreading at Rikers Island. Mayor Bloomberg says there are four confirmed cases of the virus at the prison complex, and at least four more probable cases. The mayor says authorities can't evacuate the jail, but steps are being taken to try and prevent the illness from spreading.

“It is in some senses easier to control because obviously the prisoners can't leave, on the other hand it's also a confined area where we really don't have the choice to move people to areas and ask them to stay home.”

Public schools closed (according to the Department of Education)

* IS 238Q - reopening Friday, May 22
* PS 16Q - reopening Friday, May 22
* P255 (located at PS 16Q) - reopening Friday, May 22
* IS 5Q - reopening Friday, May 22
* JHS 74Q - reopening Tuesday, May 26
* PS 107Q - reopening Tuesday, May 26
* MS 158Q - reopening Tuesday, May 26
* IS 25Q - reopening Tuesday, May 26
* World Journalism Preparatory (located at IS 25Q) - reopening Tuesday, May 26
* PS 233 (located at IS 25Q) - reopening Tuesday, May 26
* IS 318K - reopening Tuesday, May 26
* PS 19Q - reopening date TBD
* PS 32Q - reopening date TBD
* PS 209Q - reopening date TBD
* P9 (located at PS 209Q) - reopening date TBD
* P.S. 130
* P.S. 35
* Merrick Academy Charter School

Private and charter schools closed:
* Holy Family School
* Horace Mann School
* Our Lady of Lourdes School
* San Demetrios School in Astoria (Reopens Tuesday, May 26)
* South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts in Mott Haven (All three locations reopen Tuesday, May 26)
* St. David's School
* St. Joseph School
* The Child Legacy School on Roosevelt Island