School: Swine flu claims life of Brooklyn girl

Parents at the Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice say they received a notice Thursday informing them that a student at the school died from swine flu.

The New York City Department of Health has yet to confirm the death, but students at the school identified the victim as sixth-grader Sarah Mitchell. During a City Council meeting Thursday, Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, testified that the girl had an underlying condition.

At a meeting with school officials Friday, parents at the Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice say they were reassured that the school, which also houses I.S. 223, was thoroughly sanitized and that the death of a student does not increase the chances of other students contracting the virus. Some, however, were unconvinced and decided to keep their children home Friday.

"I don't feel very confident that a school can be cleaned in one day or one night," says parent Shellie Downs.

In the meantime, the pharmaceutical company Novaritis announced it has produced its first batch of an H1N1 flu vaccine weeks ahead of schedule. The company hopes to have the drug approved and ready for sale by September.

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