Department Of Health Officials Testing 75 Students At St. Francis Preparatory School In QueensNew York City health officials say that about 75 students at a Queens high school have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms and testing is under way to rule out the strain of swine flu that has killed dozens in Mexico.The Health Department's Dr. Don Weiss said Friday that a team of agency doctors and investigators were dispatched to the private St. Francis Preparatory School the previous day after students reported fever, sore throat, cough, aches and pains. No one has been hospitalized.
The handful of sick students who remained at the school were tested for a variety of flu strains. If they're found to have a known human strain that would rule out swine flu.
Results could take several days. In the meantime, the school says it's postponing an evening event and sanitizing the building over the weekend.
Mexican authorities said 60 people may have died from a swine flu virus in Mexico, and world health officials worry it could unleash a global flu epidemic.
Mexico City closed schools, museums, libraries and state-run theaters across the metropolis Friday in hopes of containing the outbreak that has sickened more than 900.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said tests show some of the Mexico victims died from the same new strain of swine flu that sickened eight people in Texas and California. It's a frightening new strain that combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans.
The World Health Organization was looking closely at the 60 deaths - most of them in or near Mexico's capital. It wasn't yet clear what flu they died from, but spokesman Thomas Abraham said "We are very, very concerned."
"We have what appears to be a novel virus and it has spread from human to human," he said. "It's all hands on deck at the moment."
WHO raised its internal alert system Friday, preparing to divert more money and personnel to dealing with the outbreak.
President Felipe Calderon cancelled a trip and met with his Cabinet to coordinate Mexico's response. The government has 500,000 flu vaccines and planned to administer them to health workers, the highest risk group.
There are no vaccines available for the general public in Mexico, and authorities urged people to avoid hospitals unless they had a medical emergency, since hospitals are centers of infection.
Some Mexican residents have started wearing blue surgical masks for extra protection, reports CBS News correspondent Adrienne Bard. The federal health minister has warned people not to go near anyone with a respiratory infection and to avoid kissing - traditional Mexican greeting.