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Croatia rejects first A/H1N1 flu case as mistake
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Croatia on Monday said the country's first A/H1N1 flu case, which was announced earlier in the day, was wrongly confirmed due to a mistake in lab tests.

Croatian Health Minister Darko Milinovic told an extraordinary press conference Monday evening that the World Health Organization's Collaborating Center on Influenza in London made a mistake and wrongly confirmed A/H1N1 flu for a Croatian male patient who came from abroad last week.

He said Croatian experts were surprised when the test result from London for the Croatian patient was positive for A/H1N1 flu, as two previous tests done in Croatia had found no trace of the virus, the Croatian news agency HINA reported.

Croatian experts asked the London center for another check Monday afternoon which revealed that the patient did not have the A/H1N1 virus, Milinovic said.

The health minister said the London center had apologized for the error, but he asked an written explanation and would send an official protest note to the WHO.

According to Milinovic, the mistake occurred after two test results, of which one was positive and the other negative, were technically contaminated. He stressed that there were no A/H1N1 flu patients in Croatia.

Earlier Monday, Milinovic said the first A/H1N1 flu case had been confirmed in Croatia and the patient was cured after three or four days of home care, without any drugs. The minister said the patient had been traveling abroad and was assumed to have contracted the virus overseas.

WHO has declared an A/H1N1 pandemic. The Croatian epidemiology service has repeatedly stressed it is prepared for the worst.

(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2009)

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