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Reported case in France was false alarm, says health minister

A group of four people tested for swine flu in France have come up negative, despite concerns that one of those patients had contracted the virus. The four had recently returned from the Americas.

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Four people tested for swine flu in France were given the all-clear by doctors, including one woman in the Paris region who until Monday was still suspected of having contracted the virus. French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot confirmed the clean bill of health for all for on Monday.

All four had recently returned from the Americas, where an outbreak of the disease has claimed over 100 lives.


Two other people tested negative in southwest France and in the southern city of Marseille as health authorities stepped up surveillance.

Spanish authorities said Sunday that seven people are being treated as possible swine flu cases, and all flights from Mexico are being checked, as fears grow over the spread of the killer virus.

The World Health Organization on Saturday declared a "public health emergency of international concern" and called on governments to step up surveillance of flu-like symptoms and severe pneumonia.

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