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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Japan''s swine flu cases hit 173

TOKYO, May 19 (KUNA) -- Confirmed swine flu cases in Japan reached 173 on Tuesday after 10 more people have tested positive for the H1N1 virus, while more than 4,000 schools in affected areas shut down or consider closing this week, the health ministry and local authorities said. Most of domestic infections were found among teenagers in Osaka and neighboring Hyogo prefectures, western Japan, who have no record of recent overseas travel.
Meanwhile, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe told reporters that the government will gradually scale down quarantine inspections aboard airplanes to detect patients, while intensify measures to handle domestic infection cases, which may be starting to spread on a full scale. Tha nation's first confirmed cases of swine flu were found earlier this month through health inspections at Tokyo's Narita International Airport among a group of Japanese students and teachers, who arrived May 8 on a flight from the US after a two-week school trip to Canada.
Japan became the fourth-most infected country in the world as of Tuesday, although still no cases have been reported in greater Tokyo. (end) mk.aj KUNA 190901 May 09NNNN

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