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WHO: Reported Swine Flu Cases Rise to 4,379

The World Health Organization has released updated figures for the H1N1 flu virus, and the number of reported cases is about 20 percent higher than figures released just one day earlier.

The WHO says, as of Sunday, 29 countries have officially reported a total of 4,379 cases of the illness, commonly referred to as swine flu. That is a jump of nearly 1,000 from Saturday's released figure of 3,440.

U.S. health officials said Sunday there have been 2,532 confirmed cases in 44 states. Three of those cases resulted in death. The most recently reported case was a man in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington. Officials said Saturday the man had underlying heart conditions and viral pneumonia at the time of his death.

Officials in Mexico raised the country's death toll to 48 and the number of confirmed cases to nearly 1,578. Mexican Health Ministry spokesman Carlos Olmos said the latest deaths happened on or before May 6 and involved previously suspected cases.

Canada also has reported one swine flu death.

The British government has announced it has decoded the genetic information of the virus, bringing it a step closer to developing a swine flu vaccine.

Japan's Health Ministry Sunday said it is continuing to monitor the health of airline passengers who arrived in Japan Friday on the same flight as four people who have tested positive for swine flu. The infected Japanese individuals are three high school students and one teacher who were returning from a trip to Canada and arrived in Tokyo on a flight from the U.S. city of Detroit, Michigan.

The World Health Organization says there is one confirmed case in Hong Kong. China's government Sunday said it found its first suspected case in mainland China, but that has yet to be confirmed by WHO officials.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.