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MSNBC Reports Outbreak in Mexico, U.S. Tied To New Swine Flu The unique strain of swine flu found in seven people in California and Texas has been connected to the deadly flu that has broken out in Mexico, killing as many as 60 people, NBC News has confirmed.
Authorities in Mexico asked the Public Health Agency of Canada to help identify the cause of the lung illness linked to 20 deaths, including two in the state of Baja California Norte, which borders California. The Mexican cases include five health- care workers, the Ottawa-based agency said in an e-mail today.
UPDATE: Mexico shuts schools over deadly influenza epidemic
Mexico authorities have closed all schools in the capital and central Mexico as the WHO announced hundreds of human cases of swine flu in the country, including 57 suspected deaths.
The outbreak has killed at least 20 people in the past month, Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said in announcing the school closures.
Tests in Mexico found patients were infected with H1N1 and type-B influenza strains and the parainfluenza virus, the agency said. In the U.S., doctors discovered a new strain of H1N1 swine influenza in patients in San Diego County and Imperial County, California, and in San Antonio, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said today.
“It will be critical to determine whether or not the strains of H1N1 isolated from patients in Mexico are also swine flu,” Donald Low, an infectious diseases specialist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, told the Canadian Press.
Canada Issues Travel Advisory
Canadians who have recently returned from Mexico should be on alert for flu-like symptoms that could be connected to a severe respiratory illness, federal health officials said Thursday in issuing a travel advisory.
A severe respiratory illness appears to have infected 137 people in south and central areas of Mexico, with cases concentrated in Mexico City and three other areas, including 20 deaths, the Public Health Agency of Canada said.