- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2011

CARACAS, VENEZUELA (AP) - Venezuelan health officials believe swine flu killed one person and have diagnosed 12 other people with the virus, the country’s health minister said Thursday.

One 32-year-old person died on Wednesday and health authorities, seeing it as a suspicious case, began tests on others, Health Minister Eugenia Sader said.

A total of 12 people tested positive in the southwestern state of Merida, including one who is hospitalized and others who are receiving treatment at home, Sader said.

Health authorities believe they have isolated the cases and have been administering vaccines, Sader said at a news conference. All of the patients are adults, she said.

The cases were announced earlier by Information Minister Andres Izarra, who said health officials were taking measures to prevent the illness from spreading.

Venezuelan health officials in 2009 attributed dozens of deaths to swine flu and said hundreds of other people were diagnosed.


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