BROOKLYN - United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten testified before the City Council Thursday that the death of a Brooklyn student last week was related to swine flu.
Weingarten tells News 12 Brooklyn the student, who attended Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice, had underlying health issues. The school sent home a letter to parents saying, ?The child had a severe case of influenza, which we now know was caused by the H1N1 swine flu virus.?
?The student had some kind of complications, but it just reinforces the message that if there's an underlying issue or illness, you have to get treatment immediately,? Weingarten says.
A representative from the Department of Education says the school will not be closed.
The hearing was held to gauge the city's response to the swine flu outbreak. Joseph Bruno, commissioner of the city's Department of Emergency Management, testified the outbreak has already cost the city $10 million. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley says the health department alone has spent $4 million.
The testimony comes on the heels of the World Health Organization declaring a swine flu pandemic, as infections climb to nearly 30,000 cases worldwide. There have been 15 swine flu-related deaths in the city so far, three of which were announced Wednesday.