Swine flu fells Ecuador president's security chief

September 7, 2009 8:02:36 AM PDT
The Ecuadorean government says President Rafael Correa's chief of security has died of swine flu. The online government publication El Ciudadano says air force Lt. Col. John Merino died Sunday after being hospitalized for 28 days.

El Ciudadano cited as its source Francisco Torres, the doctor for the office of the Presidency, which was closed late Sunday.

The publication said Correa expressed his condolences to Merino's family at the military hospital where he died.

Ecuador has reported 36 confirmed deaths from swine flu as of last week, along with 1,382 infected.