Brazil Suspected H1N1 Flu Cases Up To 15; 44 Patients Watched

Brazil Suspected H1N1 Flu Cases Up To 15; 44 Patients Watched

BRASILIA (Dow Jones)--Brazil's government raised the number of suspected cases of H1N1 type A flu in the country to 15 from 4 over the weekend, the Health Ministry said.

The government also raised its number of patients being monitored with some flu-like symptoms to 44 from 42.

The government said that so far it has not made any confirmation of actual H1N1 flu cases, but is actively monitoring travelers with flu-like symptoms returning from countries where the illness was reported to have occurred.

Those under monitoring were returning to destinations in 17 Brazilian states.

Brazil's health ministry said that the measures it has adopted for mitigating the spread of the disease were in agreement with recommendations from the World Health Organization. The organization last week raised its emergency alert regarding the spread of swine flu to level 5 on a scale of 6.

Brazil's Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao in a televised interview over the weekend said the country is prepared to deal with an outbreak should it occur locally.

"The virus is not circulating in the country, and if it does, we are prepared for it," he said.

Temporao said the government had up to 12,500 allotments of medication ready to treat the illness and raw materials on hand to administer prescriptions for up to 9 million cases.

The health ministry said its criteria for monitoring patients included reports over the past 10 days of sudden fever above 38 degrees Celsius, along with one or more of the following symptoms: cough, breathing difficulties, headaches, and muscular pains.

A severe outbreak of H1N1 flu virus type A occurred in Mexico in recent weeks where more than 20 deaths from the illness were reported.

-By Gerald Jeffris, Dow Jones Newswires; (5561) 3335-0832, [email protected]

Click here to go to Dow Jones NewsPlus, a web front page of today's most important business and market news, analysis and commentary: You can use this link on the day this article is published and the following day.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 04, 2009 13:32 ET (17:32 GMT)

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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