Last update: 5/28/2009 10:30:34 PMCARACAS (AFP)--Venezuela and Paraguay reported their first cases of swine flu Thursday, as the number of A(H1N1) infections rose across South America, including in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.
Experts have said they expect the number of cases to increase in South America as the region enters the autumn and winter seasons.
Mexico, where the swine flu death toll reached 95 Thursday, remains the epicenter of the outbreak. The number of cases there is currently at 4,879, the health ministry said.
The U.S. has 15 swine flu deaths, Canada two and Costa Rica one, but no fatalities have been reported in the southern hemisphere.
The confirmed Venezuelan case was that of a 22 year-old man who recently traveled to Panama, Health Minister Jesus Mantilla said.
"This citizen was initially isolated at the health center he visited" after showing flu-like symptoms, said Mantilla, speaking on VTV state television.
Since "this is an imported case, there is no cause for alarm in the general population," he said.
The patient has since been quarantined at home and the rest of the 80 passengers aboard the flight have been tested, Mantilla said.
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