NEW YORK (AP) — Esti Lamonaca's illness started with a high fever, a cough and achy bones, just a couple of days after she returned from a spring break trip on the beach in Cancun with friends. By the weekend, her voice was hoarse and she was wearing a surgical mask.
The 18-year-old senior was one of a dozen students from several New York City high schools who traveled to Mexico this month, and she thinks she has swine flu. On Monday, an official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed 28 New York City cases of swine flu, which has caused a deadly outbreak in Mexico. Health officials have predicted the number will grow once additional students are tested.
The latest New York City figures brought the number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States to 40. The World Health Organization said Monday it was "very concerned" about the disease's spread.
However, most of those sickened in the U.S. have recovered or are recovering. That's a stark difference from the deadly outbreak in Mexico that authorities can't yet explain.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the news had not been announced, said Monday that New York City now has 28 confirmed cases of swine flu, up from eight cases previously announced. The eight earlier cases were students from Lamonaca's school, St. Francis Preparatory in Queens.
There are another 17 probable cases in the city, the official said.
"Some of them are getting worse and some are getting better," 14-year-old St. Francis freshman Samantha Cosentino said Monday of her classmates.
Cosentino said she came down with aches, pains and a fever last Thursday. She said that she was tested for swine flu but that the results were inconclusive.
St. Francis officials learned that something was wrong there on Thursday when students started lining up at the nurse's office complaining of fever, nausea, sore throats and achy bones. It wasn't long before the line was out the door.