Stockholm - At least 27 people in six European countries were Friday morning confirmed to have been infected with swine flu, a European health agency reported. The confirmed European cases were in Britain, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said.
In addition there were two suspected cases in France and one in Ireland as well as seven probable cases in Britain, the agency said.
The ECDC stressed that the European cases were "almost entirely among those returning from Mexico."
The first European case was reported April 27. The breakdown of the 13 cases that have been studied in more detail indicated the patients were from age 3 to 41, affecting males and females equally.
The confirmed cases outside Europe tallied 454 as of Friday morning including 312 cases in Mexico and 12 deaths, 109 cases and one death in the United States, 28 in Canada, three in New Zealand and one in Israel.
New laboratory results released by the health ministry in Mexico contirbuted to an increase over Thursday, the ECDC statement said.
In New Zealand, 13 cases were defined as probable pending further tests while two cases reported from Costa Rica and one from Peru were removed "pending validation," the agency said.
The ECDC with headquarters in Sweden began to operate in 2005, and groups the bloc as well as several non-EU members.(dpa)
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