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Mexico health minister reports 12 confirmed swine flu deaths
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12:25, May 01, 2009

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Mexico's Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos said on Thursday that the number of confirmed swine flu deaths has increased to 12, from eight on Wednesday, adding that a total of 270 cases of human infection had been confirmed.

Cordova said late Wednesday that 17 people died that day with symptoms consistent with influenza A/H1N1, bringing the total deaths believed to be associated with the disease to 176.

"We have created an investigation committee with members of the National Autonomous University (UNAM) biotechnology department and the National Science and Technology Council (Conacyt)," Cordova noted. "They are trying to develop the technology to create a vaccine."

Such a vaccine might be available in six months and applied with the existing winter flu vaccines that attack five flu strains, he said.

The minister also said that 547 samples had been tested.

Since early Wednesday, the nation's health centers have been able to process 65 samples every six hours, or around 260 a day, easing a bottleneck that had prevented the confirmation of the new strain of flu.

Source: Xinhua

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