BY John Lauinger

Saturday, June 27th 2009, 12:28 PM

New research estimates that half a million New Yorkers have been infected by swine flu – casting doubts on the city’s claim that transmission of the H1N1 virus has declined.

The alarming data was released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimated there have been 50 times more cases nationwide than have been reported to health authorities.

“We’re saying that there have been at least a million cases of the new H1N1 virus so far this year in the United States,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

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