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Mexico raises swine flu death toll to 109

world Updated: Jun 12, 2009 13:49 IST
AFP
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Mexico will maintain its swine flu alert, Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said on Thursday as he raised the country's death toll by one to 109 after the WHO declared a worldwide pandemic.

"Faced with this situation, we can't remove the alert," Cordova told a news conference in Mexico. He raised the A(H1N1) death toll to 109, and the number of infections to 6,294.

Cordova previously said the alert may be lifted mid-June, despite a slow trickle of confirmed deaths since swine flu broke out here at the end of April.

"The next wave is expected in November or December," Cordova said, adding that a vaccine could be ready in December. Cordova said the virus was currently under control.

"It won't disappear but we'll see a few cases, which will be monitored," the health minister said.

The country is struggling to recover after the flu epidemic compounded problems in its crisis-hit economy, prompting the departure of much-needed tourists and the closure of many businesses.

The World Health Organization declared the world's first influenza pandemic in 40 years on Thursday, with infections reported in tens of thousands of people in 74 countries.

Mexico is due to host an international summit on swine flu at the Caribbean beach resort of Cancun at the start of next month.

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