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Infected US soldiers leave Kuwait after recovery

ALL 18 United States soldiers infected with swine flu have recovered and left Kuwait City, a health official said yesterday.

"They were treated and they have fully recovered," said Youssef Mandakar, deputy head of Kuwait's public health department. He said the soldiers had shown "mild symptoms" of the disease upon their arrival at an air force base.

Kuwaiti authorities confirmed that the soldiers came from the US, but would not say where they had gone, adding that the troops had no contact with the local population and were treated at US military facilities.

"Kuwait is very comfortable with the measures taken there," said Ibrahim Abdel Hadi, the undersecretary of the Health Ministry.

Kuwait is a logistics base for US military personnel serving in Iraq.

Raad Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Iraqi Health Ministry, said precautionary measures were being taken at airports and border entry points, but said Iraqi authorities had no authority over US troops and the foreigners who enter with them.

But he said the US military has to administer medical tests to everybody when they enter the country. A US military spokesman said there were no reported cases of swine flu among American troops in Iraq.

The World Health Organization's global tally has topped 12,000 cases, including 86 deaths, in more than 40 countries.

Poland yesterday confirmed the country's third case of swine flu in a 21-year-old who had just returned from the US.


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