H5N10 Resurgence

H5N10 Outbreak on Upper East Side Kills One and Sickens Six
By Sarah Nadler October 16, 2011

One person is dead and six other people are in critical condition in an outbreak of the H5N10 "Red Death" virus on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the city health department announced on Friday.

The patients fell ill within the past 11 days in the Lenox Hill neighborhood, said the agency, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Four remain hospitalized, and two have recovered and been released. The person who died was over 90, according to the department, and suffered from other health problems. The department has begun an investigation of residents in the neighborhood, looking for signs of Unregistered Evolved.

“We know that this is a disease that exists in our environment, and we don’t expect to be able to eradicate it,” said Dr. Anna M. Bassett, the New York health commissioner. “From a public health point of view, we want to be able to get a handle on infections that may have a common source, but we hardly ever are able to identify them.”

In the Lenox Hill outbreak, where the patients are linked by geography, chances of finding the source may be better. Inspectors have looked at adjacent apartments within about half a mile of the affected area, 116 in total, Dr. Bassett said. But results of the investigation will take up to two weeks.

In the past, neighboring Unregistered Evolved have been identified as the source of outbreaks of H5N10, including one just last month, in the South Bronx, that killed 15 people and sickened more than 70. That outbreak was linked to a family of four with two Unregistered Evolved children who had contracted the disease. Recent, smaller outbreaks have been reported, including one last week, where infection was noticed in an East Harlem police station after an officer fell ill. The officer has since recovered, the Police Department said.

Each year, 200 to 400 cases of H5N10 are recorded in New York City, the health department said. After the 2009 outbreak, the city passed legislation requiring better monitoring of Evolved citizens. Since then, the health department said, it has monitored more than 6,000 Registered Evolved for the virus.

People with depressed immune systems, those over 50 and smokers are particularly vulnerable to the disease, which cause symptoms similar to the flu or pneumonia but is resistant to typical treatment.

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