46 Japanese children positive for swine flu in Germany

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The school in the western city of Düsseldorf has been closed since Tuesday and the infected children are under quarantine at home.

Berlin -- The number of children at a Japanese school in Germany who have tested positive for swine flu has risen to 46, in addition to three of their parents, local officials said Friday.

The school in the western city of Düsseldorf has been closed since Tuesday and the infected children are under quarantine at home, the municipality said in a statement.

The first case of the virus was discovered Monday at the Japanese school, which is attended by 560 children. Another 25 children appear to have contracted it during a field trip last week.

"The city of Düsseldorf is doing everything it can to identify infected people as quickly as possible," Mayor Dirk Elbers said in the statement.

"I am convinced that thanks to measures taken at the airport and at the Japanese school, we can stop the propagation of the infections."

The World Health Organization declared swine flu Thursday to be the world's first influenza pandemic in 40 years.

The virus has infected almost 29,000 people in 74 countries and claimed almost 150 lives since it was first detected in Mexico in April, according to the latest WHO figures.

German Health Minister Ulla Schmidt said Thursday, before the latest cases in Düsseldorf were announced, that a total of 108 people had been diagnosed with swine flu in the country.

AFP/Expatica

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