Asia confirms 1st swine flu case

May 1, 2009 7:04:18 AM PDT
Hong Kong has detected swine flu in a person who recently arrived in the territory, its leader said Friday, in Asia's first confirmed case of the disease. Donald Tsang told reporters the patient is a Mexican citizen who developed a fever after arriving in Hong Kong via Shanghai on Thursday. Tsang said tests by both Hong Kong's Department of Health and the University of Hong Kong confirmed the diagnosis.

He said the patient has been isolated in a hospital and is in stable condition. He gave no further details on the patient's identity.

Tsang said Director of Health Lam Ping-yan has ordered the hotel in Hong Kong where the tourist stayed quarantined. Television footage showed police officers wearing masks and gloves locking down the hotel and a worker carrying boxes into the building labeled with the name of an antiviral drug.

While South Korea has reported three probable cases of swine flu, the Hong Kong case is the first confirmed case in Asia, where governments have been stepping up precautions to prevent its spread from other parts of the world.

In the Pacific, New Zealand has reported four lab-confirmed swine flu cases and 12 other probable cases.

Nearly 170 people suspected of having swine flu have died in Mexico, and more than 3,000 have been sickened. One toddler has died in the United States, and half a dozen countries in Europe have confirmed cases, as do Canada and Israel.


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