- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Officials said that swine flu has been ruled out as the cause of one of two recent deaths in California, the Associated Press is reporting.

Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said Tuesday that lab testing is still pending in the case of the second fatality but that swine flu is not now suspected, according to AP.

A Los Angeles County hospital said a 33-year-old Long Beach man brought in on Saturday died from symptoms resembling those of swine flu, county coroner spokesman Craig Harvey told the Los Angeles Times.

The other death was a 45-year-old La Mirada man who died April 22 at a Norwalk hospital.

The Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site that both men’s deaths were reported Monday to the coroner’s office. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could not confirmed the deaths.

The number of U.S. cases increased Tuesday to 64, compared with 40 the day before, according to the CDC.

The agency reported 17 new cases in New York City, four more in Texas and three more in California. The totals are now 45 in New York City, 10 in California, six in Texas, two in Kansas and one in Ohio. The CDC also reported “a number of hospitalized,” compared with one on Monday, but no deaths so far in the United States.

Health officials in New Jersey said they had identified five probable cases of the swine flu, and Indiana has confirmed one.

Meanwhile, New York City’s health commissioner said “many hundreds” of schoolchildren are sick with suspected swine flu.

A spokeswoman for the New York City health department said 12 students at Public School 177, a special-needs school in Fresh Meadows, have flulike symptoms but none has been confirmed as having swine flu. She could not confirm a reported outbreak at a Catholic school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Officials said they have expected more confirmed cases and severe illnesses as testing continues.

“We are likely to see more presentations of illness and some death,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. She also said about 3,500 people every year in the United States die of seasonal flu.

The number of deaths in Mexico as of Tuesday morning was at least 150 with another 1,600 people sickened. The country’s government has closed schools and suspended public events.

Five countries in addition to the United States and Mexico now have confirmed cases: Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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