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Official says A/H1N1 flu cases in Australia are 'mild'
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Australian chief medical officer Jim Bishop said on Saturday cases of A/H1N1 flu have been "fairly mild" in Australia compared with cases seen in countries such as the United States and Mexico.

"It is a spectrum of disease which we've mainly seen the mild end," he told reporters in Canberra.

Victorian health authorities confirmed earlier in the day that the state's ninth case of the A/H1N1 virus -- a 15-year-old boy in Melbourne's northern suburb - taking the national total to 14.

Bishop said A/H1N1 flu seems to be hitting younger people, as well as pregnant women and people who are prone to respiratory illnesses.

Unlike the severity of cases seen overseas, the Australian cases have tended to last three to four days "and people aren't particularly ill with it," he said.

"But the overseas information would be there's both a mild end and a nasty end and the nasty end relates to certain types of people which are at certain types of risk."

Bishop said because Australian authorities had successfully delayed the virus spreading in the country, they have been able to learn a lot about it since the first cases were reported in Mexico.

With latest case, Victorian authorities were trying to determine whether students at the same school as the Melburnian boy had been exposed to the virus.

(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2009)

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