, TOKYO, May 16 – Japan on Saturday confirmed its first domestic infection of swine flu after a high school student who has not been abroad tested positive for the virus, the government said.
"Today, the first patient infected with the new type influenza in the country was confirmed," Health and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe told a news conference.
The high school student from Kobe in western Japan, who has had flu symptoms for several days, tested positive for the virus in final genetic examinations, Masuzoe said.
Two of the student’s schoolmates have also tested positive for swine flu in an initial genetic examination, government officials said, adding that authorities are now carrying out further tests to confirm the disease.
"The (three) people have no record of travelling abroad," Masuzoe added.
Saturday’s confirmed case is the first infection known to have taken place within the country.
Earlier this month, Japan confirmed its first A(H1N1) cases — a school teacher and three students who arrived at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport from North America.
Of those four patients, three were expected to be released from hospital Sunday after another round of flu tests, local media said.
Authorities ordered 48 people who had flown in from Detroit to be quarantined because they were seated close to the four infected passengers.
On Friday, 47 of the 48 people were cleared of the virus after spending a week quarantined in a hotel, while the remaining passenger was expected to be discharged as early as Saturday.