June 16, 2009 / 1:33 PM / 10 years ago

Jordan, Qatar, Yemen identify first H1N1 flu cases

Jordanian Health Minister Nayef al-Fayez (C) speaks during a news conference in Amman June 16, 2009. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan, Qatar and Yemen have identified their first cases of the H1N1 flu virus in five young patients who had recently arrived from the United States and Austria.

Qatar had detected its first cases in a two-year-old boy from New Zealand who had arrived from Austria on Saturday and a two-and-half-year old American boy who had arrived from New York via Bangladesh on Sunday, the state news agency said.

A Yemeni student who had returned from the United States was confirmed as Yemen’s first case of the H1N1 flu, Yemeni Health Minister Abdul-Karim Rase told Reuters.

Jordan had detected the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, in two girls who had recently arrived from the United States, the Jordanian health minister said.

“We discovered two cases yesterday. Two Jordanian girls, an 11-year-old and a 17-year-old, who were both in the United States and had arrived last week,” Health Minister Nayef al-Fayez told a news conference.

The patients in all three countries were being treated and recovering, officials said.

The H1N1 virus emerged in April in the United States and Mexico, and has spread internationally, with cases appearing in several countries in the Middle East including Egypt, Morocco, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Lebanon.

Flu cases have also been found in several Gulf Arab states: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain.

H1N1, a mixture of swine, bird and human viruses, has killed 165 people and infected over 37,000, according to the World Health Organisation’s latest tallies.

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