LIMA, Peru (AP) – Eight Amazon Indians of the Machiguenga Tribe have tested positive for swine flu and are recovering, Peruvian health officials said Aug. 12.
The swine flu cases were detected three weeks ago, said Fernando Perez, director of Cuzco province’s sanitary intelligence department.
Perez said no other swine flu cases have been reported in Timpia, an Amazon settlement of 600 people, and that his office is taking measures to make sure the disease does not spread to other communities.
Peru’s health ministry has detected 5,743 cases of swine flu in the country and said 45 people have died from the H1N1 virus.
London-based rights group Survival International warned in an Aug. 12 statement that the Machiguenga have intermittent contact with more isolated and vulnerable tribes.
Health Minister Oscar Ugarte minimized the threat, however, saying the virus will not spread as quickly in the sparsely populated jungle as it has in Peru’s dense urban areas.
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