New York's Red Death Widens Its Grasp

Thursday: Over a month after the CDC acknowledged an emergency quarantine placed into effect at the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island, documents leaked to the press by a concerned insider have suggested the case fatality rate among infected inmates and staffers may be as high as 90%.

Panicked patients in a quarantined nursing home in Queens set an entire wing ablaze after hearing the news. Two residents are still missing.

In the wake of rumors surrounding earlier reports of high mortality rates, CDC Spokesperson Jeremy Weigh stated that initial confusion as to the illness' source delayed treatment that might have otherwise lessened the severity of some symptoms. He stressed that early detection, isolation and treatment would likely prevent the mutant strain of H5N10 (since dubbed "Red Death," by the media, likely in reference to victims' distinctive red eyes and coagulopathy) from becoming deadly to the average New Yorker.

Conflicting reports from city hospitals under government control are currently making it difficult to construct an accurate picture of the strain's impact, but three more urgent care clinics in Greenwich were locked down and quarantined today after multiple patients and at least one staffer were found to be infected with the virus. Government officials have assumed control of each of the affected clinics, with armed officers confirmed stationed outside of at least one clinic early this morning.

In Harlem, bottled water has become hard to find and some grocery stores reported non-perishable shortages. Additional cases of "Red Death" have been confirmed in Atlantic City and Boston, Massachusetts in recent days, all with less dramatic reception.

"One year it's bird flu," one native NJ resident told reporters Tuesday evening, "the next it's pigs — and we're all still here. Why should the (expletive) freak flu be any different?"

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