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Published: Friday, 5/15/2009

Arizonan 4th U.S. swine flu fatality; more N.Y. students ill


PHOENIX - A woman in Arizona suffering from a lung condition apparently has become the fourth person in the nation to die with swine flu.

The Maricopa County Health Department said yesterday that the woman in her late 40s died last week of what seems to be from complications of the new flu strain.

The case would bring the nation's number of swine flu deaths to four and put the worldwide death toll at 70, with an estimated 6,672 cases in 33 countries.

In New York City, three schools have been closed in response to a swine flu outbreak that has left an assistant principal in critical condition and sent hundreds of students home with flu symptoms.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said four students and the assistant principal have documented cases of swine flu at a Queens middle school. More than 50 students have gone home ill with flulike symptoms there, he said. At another Queens middle school, 241 students were absent yesterday. Dozens more were sick at an elementary school.

The Health Department said the assistant principal is on a ventilator, marking the city's most severe illness so far from swine flu. The students who have fallen ill in this latest surge of appear to have mild symptoms, similar to routine flu.

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