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Swine Flu Continues to Spread


The swine influenza A-H1N1 virus is still spreading around the world.

Belgium on Wednesday confirmed its first case, becoming the 34th country to report an infection of swine flu. The World Health Organization says worldwide, the number of confirmed cases stands at more than 5,700.

Almost all the deaths from the virus have been in Mexico. Mexican authorities on Wednesday raised the death toll there to 60, though authorities say the outbreak in Mexico is declining.

Swine flu has also killed one person in Costa Rica, one in Canada and three people in the United States. On Wednesday, the U.S. said it had confirmed more than 3,300 cases of the virus. U.S. officials say they expect more.

On Tuesday, Finland and Thailand each confirmed two cases, the first for both countries. Authorities say each of those four patients had recently traveled to Mexico.

China also confirmed its second case on the mainland, while Hong Kong confirmed two as well.

Other swine flu cases have been confirmed in Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland, Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Austria, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The WHO has released a report warning that although a flu virus may be considered mild, it can change over time as it spreads around the globe.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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