Mitchell Weiner, the assistant principal of Intermediate School 238 in Queens, died of complications from swine flu last night. The sixth person in the United States to succumb to the disease, his was the first death on record here in New York. Four students at the school were also diagnosed with H1N1, but only his case was severe enough to shut down some internal organs and resist even experimental treatments. It was also announced yesterday that five more public schools in Queens have been closed. But New York health commissioner Thomas Frieden (whom we are soon losing, don't forget) urged New Yorkers not to panic, in spite of the bad news. "Nothing we’ve seen so far suggests that it’s more dangerous to someone who gets it than the flu that comes every year," he said. "We should not forget that the flu that comes every year kills about 1,000 New Yorkers." Weiner himself had a history of medical problems. He was also a much-loved husband, father, and Little League coach who was described as the "heart and soul" of his school.
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