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S. Korea reports first confirmed case of swine flu

SOUTH Korean health authorities said today that a woman who recently returned from Mexico has swine flu - the country's first confirmed case of the virus.

The infection was the second confirmed in Asia. Hong Kong officials ordered a weeklong quarantine yesterday for hundreds of hotel guests and workers after a tourist from Mexico tested positive for disease. The 25-year-old man was isolated at a hospital and was in stable condition.

The 51-year-old South Korean has been quarantined since early this week when she reported having flu symptoms after returning from Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak. Lee Jong-koo, chief of the state disease control center said at a news briefing that final tests confirmed today she had the same strain as the one in Mexico.

Choi Kang-won, a doctor overseeing her, told reporters that she is in good condition with few symptoms. Health officials said her doctors are considering discharging her.

Yonhap news agency said she is a nun living in a convent near Seoul, but officials refused to confirm the report, citing privacy.

South Korea has said a woman who drove the now-confirmed patient home from the airport last Sunday may also have the disease. Final tests are under way. All other suspected cases have returned negative results.


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