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This spring, the city updated its Pandemic Influenza Operating Plan, a 263-page blueprint first developed several years ago in response to avian flu. It envisions a worst-case scenario in which 12 percent of all hospital beds in the city could be filled with flu patients and 118 people would die of the flu every week. Government services and businesses would be crippled, with a 30 percent or higher rate of absenteeism because of employees who are ill or staying home to care for sick family members. Schools would be closed and converted to mass vaccination centers. If the mayor declares a public health emergency, he can order that mass gatherings, such as sports events and concerts, be canceled.