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H1N1 Confirmed In Three More African Countries; Cambodia, Indonesia Confirm First Cases

The H1N1 (swine flu) virus has reached the sub-Saharan African countries of Cape Verde, Ethiopia and Ivory Coast, according to the WHO, the AP/Boston Herald reports. Last week, South Africa became the first country in the region to confirm a 12-year-old, who had returned from the U.S., tested positive for the H1N1 virus.

“WHO says African countries are particularly vulnerable because of their fragile health care systems and the widespread presence of other health problems such as HIV and tuberculosis,” the AP/Boston Herald writes (AP/Boston Herald, 6/24).

There have been no newly confirmed cases of H1N1 in Ethiopia since two patients tested positive for the virus last week, according to the Ethiopian Minister of Health, Ethiopian Review reports (Tesfaye, Ethiopian Review, 6/24).

The WHO and Cambodian health officials on Wednesday confirmed that a 16-year-old American girl visiting Cambodia has become the country’s first confirmed case of H1N1, Reuters reports. Also on Wednesday, health officials in Indonesia confirmed the country’s first cases of H1N1 in Jakarta and the island of Bali.

“Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari … said she was concerned that if H1N1 got a foothold in Indonesia there was a risk it could combine with the much deadlier H5N1 bird flu virus,” Reuters writes (Madra, Reuters, 6/24).