Swine flu spreads across continent as Chile hits 250 cases
Chilean health authorities reported 26 new cases of swine flu on Saturday, bringing the number of cases in the country to 250 as the virus continued its spread across the continent.
Most of the cases are in Santiago, where two people remain in serious condition in hospital, while health ministry officials also confirmed the first case in the northern city of Arica, on the border with Peru.
The flu has killed nearly a hundred and infected over 15,500 worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, since it emerged in North America in late April.
According to figures released by individual governments, the virus has actually now killed more than 110 people around the world.
In the southern hemisphere, health experts fear the new virus could take hold as winter sets in and the regular flu season is just beginning.
Argentine authorities meanwhile on Saturday registered 20 new cases of swine flu, raising the country's total to 100.
Most of the 20 confirmed cases were found at several private schools in the capital Buenos Aires, where students had recently returned from the United States, said Health Minister Graciela Ocana.
The outbreak prompted officials to close the schools for two weeks in a bid to contain the A(H1N1) virus.
In Colombia officials raised the country's total to 20 following confirmation that a man and woman in the southwest city of Cali who presented flu symptoms after arriving back from New York did in fact have the swine flu.
In Bogota a man who returned from the US state of Texas was also confirmed to have the virus, but was recovering well, officials said.
Guatemalan officials also confirmed the disease in four more cases, with the Central American nation bringing its number of cases to 11.