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Suffolk County man, an NYPD cop, dies after contracting swine flu

A young New York City police officer who lived in Blue Point died Friday after contracting swine flu, officials said.

Ryan Johnson, 27, of the 83rd Precinct in Brooklyn, is the eighth person in Suffolk whose death is linked to swine flu, the Suffolk County Health Department said.

"He fought valiantly over many weeks, often expressing his desire to return to the job," New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement Friday. "He was an impressive young man who will be missed by all who knew him."

Johnson joined the New York City police force in July 2004.

He was admitted to a hospital June 17, where he tested positive for swine flu, the Suffolk health department said. He had an underlying health condition, the health department said, but would not elaborate.

"On behalf of the entire department, I express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of police Officer Ryan Johnson," Kelly said.

The officer's family declined to comment Friday.

With Johnson's death, 10 deaths on Long Island have been linked to swine flu, including two in Nassau County.

New York City had 47 deaths as of July 7, when it stopped counting deaths attributed to the outbreak.

Nationwide, 436 deaths have been associated with swine flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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