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Ill teen 'looked like she was run over by a truck,' dad says

  • Story Highlights
  • More than 100 students at New York high school fell ill with flulike symptoms
  • CNN's Anderson Cooper interviews teenager who was sick
  • Teen didn't go to Mexico, but some of the ill students went recently to Cancun
  • Dad: "She was on the couch lying down with her eyes closed, could not move"
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(CNN) -- More than 100 students at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens, New York, have fallen ill recently. Some have tested positive for swine flu, health authorities say.

New York high schooler Arianna Anastos and dad Chris talk with CNN's Anderson Cooper about the outbreak.

New York high schooler Arianna Anastos and dad Chris talk with CNN's Anderson Cooper about the outbreak.

At least 50 people in the United States have contracted the virus, officials say. Some of those who tested positive at the New York high school recently went to Cancun, Mexico, for spring break.

By Tuesday, the number of deaths believed attributable to swine flu climbed to as many as 152 -- all of them in Mexico. (Twenty-six cases, including seven deaths, have been confirmed in the country.)

St. Francis student Arianna Anastos, 16, wasn't on that spring break trip to Mexico, but her friends were. She started exhibiting flulike symptoms and was hospitalized last weekend.

CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke Monday night with the teen and her father, Chris, on "AC 360°."

Anderson Cooper: Arianna, how are you feeling right now?

Arianna Anastos: I'm feeling a lot better now.

Cooper: When did you first start to feel sick -- and what did you feel like?

Arianna: I felt sick on Thursday. I was really dizzy. And I started having a fever and a cough. And I -- I had trouble breathing.

Cooper: How bad did the fever get?

Arianna: About 103 by Saturday.

Cooper: So then what did you do about it?

Arianna: I went to the hospital with my mom. And we waited for about an hour. And I got tested by the strep throat test and the nose swab.

Cooper: You -- you haven't been to Mexico. How do you think you got it?

Arianna: Probably from someone else. I mean, like, you know, people touch the railing on the school, like, and then I touch them, so any possible way.

Cooper: Chris, you must have been incredibly concerned. How ... did you deal with this?

Chris Anastos: Well, it was terrible. On Saturday morning, she looked like she was run over by a truck really. It really scared us. But ...

Cooper: What do you mean by that? ... How did she look?

Anastos: Well, she was on the couch lying down with her eyes closed, could not move, could not even open her eyes. I had a wet towel over her eyes to keep her temperature down. ...

Cooper: Arianna, you went to the hospital on Saturday. ... Did they give you Tamiflu?

Arianna: Yes.

Cooper: So how soon after taking the Tamiflu did you start to feel better?

Arianna: After two pills, I started feeling better.

Cooper: How do you deal with the fear about spreading it? I mean, Arianna, were you worried that you might give it to other family members?

Arianna: Yes. I mean, my parents would, like, come into the room, but they would wear masks and gloves. And they wouldn't allow anyone into the room. And they wouldn't allow me, like, to touch anything in the house, or else my mom would, like, spray it with Lysol. So, you know, no one got sick. ....

Anastos: We took every precaution we could to prevent the spreading. And, obviously, we were -- my wife and I and my other daughter did not get it. So it worked for us.

Cooper: So -- so, they gave you masks at the hospital, and you made sure to wear those around the house?

Anastos: Yes. Yes. They -- they really did a good job. They explained to us what we needed to do. They gave us the equipment. And we just followed directions, and nothing happened to us. And Arianna is almost 100 percent.

Cooper: Well .... I'm glad, Arianna, that you're feeling better. It's amazing what a difference two pills can make. And I'm glad you were able to get the Tamiflu.


Arianna: Yes.

Cooper: And I'm glad you're feeling better, and I'm glad no one else in your family caught this.

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