Colombia confirms first case of swine flu

May 3, 2009 7:55:22 AM PDT
Colombia on Sunday became the first South American country to confirm a case of swine flu: a Colombian who recently arrived from Mexico and was said to be at home and in good condition. [SWINE FLU: Symptoms, questions and answers and more]
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Social Protection Minister Diego Palacio said the government would announce measures later to discourage the virus' spread in the Andean nation.

Among other recommendations, the government will advise factories with large work forces to stagger the arrival and departure times of workers, he said.

The governor of the state that includes Bogota, Andres Gonzalez, said parents with children sickened by flu should keep them home from school.

Palacio refused to offer details about the infected person, citing privacy concerns, but he said the person was "in good condition clinically" and at home with family.

A sample from the sickened person was among 18 that Colombian authorities sent to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta for testing, he said.

He said 108 people in Colombia were suspected of being infected with swine flu, four of whom were hospitalized in stable condition.

Colombia is the 18th country to confirm swine flu within its borders. Costa Rica announced the first confirmed case in Central America on Saturday.

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