Thailand sees jump in H1N1 cases, many in Pattaya
BANGKOK, June 11 (Reuters) - Thailand reported a sharp jump in confirmed H1N1 cases on Thursday, with most of the new infections found in the seaside tourist town of Pattaya.
"We found 30 cases today, 21 of which were found in Pattaya," Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai said in a statement.
The latest infections bring the total number of cases to 46, none of which have been fatal.
All but one case, a British man who was detected at Bangkok's international airport, are Thais.
Authorities began testing suspect cases in Pattaya, 150 km (90 miles) east of Bangkok, after three students from Taiwan tested positive for H1N1 on their return from a holiday in the resort town, the ministry said.
In Bangkok, officials closed a school on Thursday for at least six days after five students contracted the virus, the ministry said.
"Thai people should not panic because the information we have suggests this flu is not lethal if they seek medical help," Witthaya told Reuters.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is poised to declare a global flu pandemic after a spike in cases in Australia, where five people have been admitted to intensive care units and 1,263 cases of the new flu have been confirmed. [ID:nSYD482995]
More than 27,700 cases have been detected in 74 countries, including 141 deaths, according to the WHO. [ID:nT236041]
The impact of H1N1 on global travel has added to the gloom in Thailand's travel industry, which has suffered a major drop in arrivals due to the global economic crisis and political unrest. (Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Supanida Sakultangphaisal; Writing by Kittipong Soonprasert; Editing by Martin Petty and Jeremy Laurence)
Reuters 11. Juni 2009