Ten New Zealand school pupils who have just returned from Mexico are likely to have contracted swine flu, officials have said.
The infected pupils were part of a group of 25 teachers and students from a secondary school in the country’s biggest city, Auckland, who had been tested after showing influenza-like symptoms a day after returning from three weeks in Mexico.
Health Minister Tony Ryall said: “Ministry of Health officials advise me there is no guarantee these students have swine influenza, but they consider it likely.
“However, I am also informed none of the affected patients are considered seriously ill, and most in fact seem to be on the road to recovery.”
The ten students had tested positive for Influenza A, and their results would be sent to the World Health Organisation laboratory in Australia to ascertain whether it was the H1N1 swine influenza, Mr Ryall said.
The affected students were being treated with the drug Tamiflu and stocks have been released to cope with any further cases.
Students from a second Auckland school are also reported to have just returned from a trip to Mexico, but are showing no flu symptoms.
The deadly swine flu strain has killed up to 81 people in Mexico and infections have also been found in the United States.
New Zealand has activated its national pandemic disease plan, with increased checks of incoming international flights.