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NY Awaits Confirmation of Probable Swine Flu Cases

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Associated Press: Students at a New York City high school could learn as early as Sunday if the flu that sickened them was the same strain of the human swine influenza that has killed people in Mexico.

Preliminary tests of samples taken from sick students' noses and throats confirmed that at least eight had a non-human strain of influenza type A, indicating probable cases of swine flu, city health officials said. The exact subtypes were still unknown, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was conducting further tests.

So far, there have been at least 11 confirmed cases of swine flu in California, Texas and Kansas. Patients have ranged in age from 9 to over 50. At least two were hospitalized.

All recovered or are recovering.

New York health officials said more than 100 students at the St. Francis Preparatory School, in Queens, recently began suffering a fever, sore throat and aches and pains.

Some of their relatives also have been ill.

Some St. Francis students had recently traveled to Mexico, The New York Times and New York Post reported Sunday.

Workers were sanitizing the school as a precaution. But a class reunion featuring cocktails, dinner and dancing for hundreds of alumni from as far back as 1939 went on as scheduled Saturday.

Symptoms in the New York cases have been mild, said New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden. But the illnesses have caused concern because of the outbreak in Mexico, where health officials say a strain of swine flu has killed up to 81 people and sickened more than 1,000.

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