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A/H1N1 flu continues spreading in Latin American and Caribbean region
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Many Latin American nations reported new A/H1N1 flu cases on Wednesday with the total number increased by 79 to 9,148 including 120 deaths.

Chile was the hardest-hit country in South America with 3,125 confirmed cases by Wednesday, 750 more than the previous figure released on Sunday. The country reported a new death on Wednesday, bringing the toll to 3.

The Chilean authorities said that at least 77 percent of the patients had recovered, and only 87 people still need hospital treatment.

Argentina has suffered the highest number of death, 4, in South America, but has a fewer confirmed cases of 871.

Mexico, where the new flu virus strain originated, posted no update following Tuesday's toll of 113 deaths, four more than the last count.

Its confirmed cases reached 7,093.

Uruguay, having at least 36 cases, stopped daily report since June 11, when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the flu a global pandemic. However, the Public Health Ministry said it was seeing domestic flu outbreaks and sustained person-to-person tansmission within the nation.

The Ministry said all those infected are being treated with antiviral drugs and none need hospitalization.

The Nicaraguan authorities on Wednesday confirmed 11 new cases, bringing the total to 134.

Ten of the new cases were in the capital Managua, the worst-hit area in the country.

Brazil reported 17 new flu cases, raising the infected toll to 96. Samples from 80 others with symptoms consistent with the flu are being checked.

Ecuador's Public Health Ministry reported 7 new cases after Monday, bringing the total to 91. Southwest city Guayaquil is by far the most infected with 68 cases.

Colombia's number of infected rose to 53 with three new cases reported on Wednesday.

Venezuela confirmed seven new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 52. On the same day, Venezuela quarantined a cruise ship with 1,200 on board off the Caribbean island of Margarita, after three crew members were confirmed infected.

Cuba reported 4 new cases of the flu, raising the total to 13, but all the confirmed patients contracted the disease abroad and were quarantined at the nation's international airports. The Health Ministry said it will begin delivering a report on the flu's spread each Friday.

Peru Health Ministry reported on Wednesday five new cases, as the total number reached 141.

Guatemalan Public Health Ministry reported 25 new cases. The total number reached 153.

Countries like Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Paraguay and El Salvador did not report the flu on Wednesday.

According to the latest tally by the WHO, 77 countries and regions have officially reported at least 35,928 cases of A/H1N1 influenza infection, including 163 deaths.

(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2009)

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