Spain treats seven for suspected swine flu

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As fears grow over the spread of swine flu, seven people returning from Mexico who checked into local hospitals are being treated as possible flu cases.

MADRID – Spanish authorities said Sunday that seven people are being treated as possible swine flu cases, and all flights from Mexico are being checked, as fears grow over the spread of the killer virus.

Three people were in quarantine in the northeast region of Catalonia and four others in Bilbao and Teruel in the north, in Almansa in the southeast and Valencia in the east, health officials said.

All had recently returned from Mexico and the three in Catlonia, two women and one man, went to local hospitals after seeing news reports about the swine flu deaths in Mexico, officials said.

The Spanish government has asked AENA, the company that manages Spanish airports, to hand over lists of people on flights that brought the seven back, officials said.

Six flights were to bring about 1,500 people from Mexico to Madrid airport on Sunday. Special checks were ordered with masked specialists monitoring everyone leaving the aircraft.

Marina Geli, health minister for Catalonia's autonomous government, said the two women, aged 22 and 24, and a 21-year-old man had respiratory problems and a fever but were getting better in hospital. Two of them were from the city of Girona and one from Barcelona.

Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez reported the cases in Bilbao, Almansa and Valencia but said none of them were in serious condition and that they were in hospital as "a precaution".

The regional government for Aragon said one suspected case was being handled in Teruel.

Mexican authorities have so far reported 20 confirmed deaths from swine flu and said another 61 suspect deaths are being investigated.

AFP / Expatica

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