Europe's first swine flu case confirmed in Spain

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 27 2009 06:24 PM | Updated as of Apr 28 2009 02:24 AM

MADRID - The Spanish government Monday said a man who recently returned from Mexico has contracted swine flu, the first recorded case of the virus in Europe.

He is one of several people in Spain suspected to have contracted the disease, which may have killed more than 100 people in Mexico.

"It has been confirmed that the tests on the patient in Almensa (in southeast Spain) for swine flu have been positive," Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez told a news conference.

The victim is a 23-year-old man who returned from a trip to Mexico on April 22 and who was quarantined on Saturday night, a spokeswoman for the health department in the region of Castilla-la-Mancha said earlier.

The government earlier warned citizens against travel to Mexico.

"During recent days a viral epidemic which has led to several deaths has been detected. Travel to Mexico is not recommended except when necessary," the foreign ministry said in a statement on its Internet site.

World health officials have stepped up the battle against swine flu after Mexico upped the probable death toll from the epidemic to 103 and the United States declared a public emergency.