Monday, May 18, 2009

Japan's swine flu cases jump; New York school official dies

Japan reported a weekend explosion of swine flu cases, and a World Health Organization official said Sunday that experts are looking closely at the spread of the virus in that country, Spain and Britain.

Spain and Britain have had the highest numbers of cases in Europe, reporting 103 and 101 cases, respectively.

The epidemic is expected to dominate the WHO's annual meeting, a five-day event that begins today in Geneva and involves health officials from the 193 member states.

In Japan, health officials said today that at least 121 people had tested positive for the H1N1 virus, prompting the government to shut down schools and cancel public events. Most of the infected are teenagers, and all were recovering in hospitals or their homes. Local media reports said the number was likely to increase beyond 130. On Saturday, the nation had only five confirmed cases.

Many of the new cases were among students who had not traveled overseas.

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