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Brazil confirms first domestically transmitted flu case

world Updated: May 09, 2009 08:34 IST

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Brazil confirmed its first case of swine flu transmitted from person to person within the country.

Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao said a new case, one of two found yesterday, was "up to now the only case of person-to-person transmission (of the virus) in Brazil."

The discovery brought to six the total number of cases of the influenza A(H1N1) virus detected in Latin America's largest nation.

The country confirmed its first four cases on Thursday, after the deadly virus was first discovered in Mexico last month.

Three of the confirmed cases had traveled to Mexico and one to the United States, Temporao said.

The latest cases came as the flu season is just getting underway in the southern hemisphere.

Neighbouring Argentina also reported its first confirmed A(H1N1) case on Thursday as Uruguay stepped up surveillance at ports and along the border.

Elsewhere in Latin America, Panama became the latest Central American nation to confirm a case of the virus, while Guatemala said it had two more people who had been infected.

Mexico has been at the epicenter of the global A(H1N1) flu epidemic, with most deaths recorded there, but the United States yesterday became the country with the most number of patients, confirming 1,639 cases in 43 states.