Experts find first cases of swine flu in Peru’s Amazon Indians | world | Hindustan Times
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Experts find first cases of swine flu in Peru’s Amazon Indians

At least seven cases of swine flu have been confirmed among Amazon Indians in Peru, raising concern about the potential for spread of the virus among the isolated tribes, experts said.

world Updated: Aug 13, 2009 13:49 IST

At least seven cases of swine flu have been confirmed among Amazon Indians in Peru, raising concern about the potential for spread of the virus among the isolated tribes, experts said.

The London-based group Survival International said the cases of A(H1N1) were found in the Matsigenka tribe living along the Urubamba River in the Peruvian Amazon.

“The arrival of swine flu amongst the Matsigenka is especially worrying as they are known to have intermittent contact with quite isolated Indian groups living nearby,” said anthropologist Glenn Shepard.

The World Health Organization says some 1,462 people around the world have died from the swine flu virus since it first emerged in Mexico in April.

Stafford Lightman, professor of medicine at Bristol University, said that native populations are particularly at risk to the spread of the virus.

“Isolated tribes have no immunity to the infectious diseases that circulate though our industrial society and will be particularly susceptible to swine flu,” he said.

“This could be devastating, infecting whole communities simultaneously, leaving no one to care for the sick or bring in and prepare food.”

Officials in Peru said the infected people were receiving treatment and were “out of danger,” state media reported on Tuesday.