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Likely Swine Flu In Auckland New Zealand Students
Recombinomics Commentary 09:23
April 26, 2009

Three teachers and 22 senior students at Rangitoto College, New Zealand's largest secondary school, on Auckland's North Shore, yesterday returned to Auckland on a flight from Los Angeles, after a three week trip to Mexico.

One student was believed to be in hospital.

The above comments described a likely cluster of H1N1 swine flu in New Zealand (see updated map).  The students have symptoms and one appears to be hospitalized.

This cluster is similar to high school students from Queens, New York (see updated map), who also returned from a trip to Mexico.  Eight students tested positive for influenza A, and results on tests for swine H1N1 are expected on Sunday.

A Mexico connection was also made for the first confirmed cases in Kansas, who developed symptoms after a business trip to Mexico.

Mexico appears to be the epicenter of the outbreak, with reports of 1300 pneumonia cases and over 80 deaths.  Sequence analysis of the virus from the United States and Mexico indicate the virus is the same.  However, there are small regional differences.  The CDC has promptly released sequences from California and Texas (see list below), and these differences allow the Texas isolates to be distinguished from the California isolates, and the California isolates also formed distinct subgroups. 

The prompt release of these sequences by the CDC is commendable, and more releases are expected.  These sequences will help determine differences in the more severe cases, or differences that appear as the virus spreads across the globe.

Virus                                     Collection date
A/California/06/2009  41F  2009-04-16
A/California/09/2009   7M   2009-04-15
A/Texas/05/2009       16M   2009-04-15
A/Texas/04/2009       16M   2009-04-14
A/California/07/2009  54M  2009-04-09
A/California/04/2009  10M  2009-04-01
A/California/05/2009    9F   2009-03-30

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