Japan confirms three cases of swine flu infection

May 9th, 2009 - 11:53 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, May 9 (DPA) Japan confirmed its first three cases of the new H1N1 influenza strain, commonly known as swine flu, detected at Narita International Airport, the government said Saturday.
A high-school teacher and two students initially tested positive for A-type influenza after returning from an excursion in Canada on a flight via the US.

They showed symptoms such as high fever and coughing when the quarantine officials inspected their health conditions on the plane before passengers disembarked, the government said.

“The conditions of the three patients have remained stable,” a Japanese health official was quoted as saying Saturday by Kyodo News Agency.

Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry officials said up to 11 people could be infected as well, as they were seated next to one of the three patients with the swine flu.

Thirteen other passengers who may be carrying the flu virus have travelled further on to Thailand, Taiwan and other countries, the officials said.

More than 30 people who accompanied the three patients their trip are expected to remain quarantined at a separate facility near the airport for 10 days.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said he would not consider the three cases as “the domestic emergence of the disease” because the infections were detected on board the plane.

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