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Why New York is being hit harder than L.A. by swine flu

May 27, 2009 |  7:54 am

As New York City announced two more swine flu deaths Tuesday, bringing the state's death toll to four, health officials in Los Angeles County and California said the worst of the outbreak -- at least locally -- appears to be over.

"Generally, it does seem to be tapering off in California, although all over the world and in the United States, the number of cases seems to be increasing," said Bonnie Sorensen, chief deputy director of policy and programs for the California Department of Public Health.

It will be at least another month, though, before state health officials can be sure if the downward trend will continue, she said.

In California, there have been 445 confirmed cases of swine flu and 227 probable cases as of last Thursday, the most recent data available. Forty-three of the confirmed cases are in Los Angeles County. By contrast, New York City has seen 330 of the state's 462 confirmed cases.

"Compared to what's going on in Queens, for example, we've had a very limited number of cases," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County's director of public health.-- Kimi Yoshino

 Use the Times interactive map to see how swine flu spread over its first 20 days.