by VR Sreeraman on  June 29, 2009 at 3:09 PM Tropical Disease News
 Brazil Reports First Swine Flu Death
Brazil reported its first swine flu fatality on Sunday, saying the woman died after returning to South America's most populous nation from a trip to neighboring Argentina.

Brazil's health ministry said in a statement that the victim was "an adult woman from the state of Rio Grande do Sul who had spent one week in Argentina," but it did not release the woman's identity.

The ministry also confirmed 36 new cases of the A(H1N1) virus, bringing Brazil's total to 627.

The ministry said it was also studying another suspected swine flu death in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state that borders Argentina, the South American nation with the highest death toll from A(H1N1), which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic earlier this month.

Argentina reported another five swine flu deaths Friday, bringing to 26 the number of fatalities there, with 1,587 confirmed cases.

Two other South American countries, Chile and Colombia, have reported deaths, while a handful of fatalities have occurred in Central American and Caribbean nations.

The swine flu pandemic first broke out in March in Mexico, where 116 people have died and 8,613 have been infected, according to health authorities there.

The outbreak in South America threatens to turn especially harsh as the continent enters the southern winter, when experts say conditions are ripe for the spread of flu.

Swine flu has infected nearly 60,000 people in 113 countries worldwide and killed 263 people, according to WHO figures released Friday.

Source: AFP

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