Venezuela officials: one death in swine flu outbreak

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March 18, 2011, 6:17 a.m. | World — by Associated Press

Indian health workers carry killed ducks to bury them at the R.K. Nagar Government Duck Farm in Agartala, India, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. According to a local news agency, at least 3,000 poultry, including chickens and ducks were culled Friday in a state-owned poultry at Agartala, in the north eastern state of Tripura. Avian flu remains difficult for humans to catch, but experts fear the virus might mutate into a new form that spreads easily among people.
© AP

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan health officials believe swine flu killed one person and have diagnosed 12 other people with the virus, the country's health minister said March 18. One 32-year-old person died on Wednesday and health authorities, seeing it as a suspicious case, began tests on others, Health Minister Eugenia Sader said.

A total of 12 people tested positive in the southwestern state of Merida, including one who is hospitalized and others who are receiving treatment at home, Sader said.

Health authorities believe they have isolated the cases and have been administering vaccines, Sader said at a news conference. All of the patients are adults, she said.

The cases were announced earlier by Information Minister Andres Izarra, who said health officials were taking measures to prevent the illness from spreading.

Venezuelan health officials in 2009 attributed dozens of deaths to swine flu and said hundreds of other people were diagnosed.
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